While more than half (58 per cent) of Canadian employers provide top-up pay for maternity leave benefits, just 33 per cent offer top-ups for parental leave benefits, according to a new survey by Aon.
The survey, conducted among 207 Canadian employers, found 53 per cent provide income replacement of 95 per cent to 100 per cent of regular weekly earnings for employees on maternity leave. A third (31 per cent) offer maternity benefits of six to eight weeks, while 55 per cent offer nine to 18 weeks.
Among respondents offering parental leave benefits top-ups, 48 per cent provide income replacement of 95 per cent to 100 per cent of regular weekly earnings. Slightly more than a fifth (21 per cent) offer six to eight weeks and 45 per cent offer nine to 18 weeks.
The vast majority (93 per cent) make maternity leave benefits top-ups available to all employees within eligible groups and 76 per cent do the same for parental leave benefits top-ups. Half (51 per cent) of respondents said they define their parental and maternity top-up policies separately.
Regarding other types of leave, only six per cent of respondents said they top-up compassionate care leave, while critical illness leave for adults and children is topped up by just five per cent and four per cent, respectively. And among 32 per cent of Quebec-based respondents offering a paternity leave benefits top-up, 62 per cent provide up to 100 per cent of regular weekly earnings.
Almost half (49 per cent) of employers don’t have a service requirement for top-up eligibility and, where these requirements are included in policies, 33 per cent require more than three months of service.
The majority (93 per cent) of respondents said they have leave policies that specifically address benefits continuation. Among multi-jurisdictional employers, 79 per cent have a policy that provides benefits continuation for all employees regardless of their province or territory of employment and 21 per cent have a policy that provides for benefits continuation according to the applicable legislative requirements of each province and territory where their employees work.
And 72 per cent said their employees meet cost-sharing requirements while on leave, subject to applicable employment standards provisions, using payment methods such as electronic funds transfer, post-dated cheques and direct billing. Only 12 per cent said they recoup costs through payroll deductions when the employee returns to work.