Back to Article:

Budget boosts parental leave to 18 months, introduces caregiving benefit

Add a comment

Have your say on this topic! Comments that are thought to be disrespectful or offensive may be removed by our Benefits Canada admins. Thanks!

* These fields are required.
Field required
Field required
Field required


I am currently on maternity leave with twins. Does anyone know when the 18 month maternity leave will start? Since I am already on maternity leave, would I have the option of extend it to 18 months?

Thursday, March 23 at 5:11 pm | Reply

jennifer paterson:

Hi Emily. I’ve just updated the story with the answer to your question. Unfortunately, claimants currently receiving the EI parental benefit are not eligible for the extension.

Friday, March 24 at 9:42 am


When does this come into effect? I am pregnant but will go on Mat leave end of April. Will I be able to have the 18 month option by that time?

Friday, March 24 at 11:28 am | Reply

jennifer paterson:

Hi Jenn. The story includes some details about the change coming in at the end of 2017.

Thursday, March 30 at 10:53 am


It’s nice to have the extended option, is there any flexibility, for instance:
1) one selects 12 months, then later in the year decides for 18 months or vice versa?
2) can one select 18 months but get paid within the 12 month period?

Friday, March 24 at 5:50 pm | Reply


EI is one thing – but how does this extend to protections under Employment Standards? Are employers obligated to hold your job for 18 months while you’re on parental leave? It’s fine to have an option to extend your EI payments to the 18 month mark, but there’s no point if your job security is at risk because of it.

Also – are the EI premiums increasing because of something not related to extended parental leave? If the EI payment amount isn’t increasing, why is the premium increasing?

Tuesday, March 28 at 5:13 pm | Reply


I am due October 2017. Will I be eligible for the 18 month mat leave?

Wednesday, March 29 at 6:00 pm | Reply

jennifer paterson:

Hi Joanna. The government’s current timeline is aiming for the end of the year.

Thursday, March 30 at 10:53 am


With respect to the 15 weeks of EI benefits for a caregiver, when is this expected to become effective?

Wednesday, April 19 at 3:49 pm | Reply


Any word on the status of the proposed 15 weeks of caregiver benefits? My wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. While we hope to not be in a position to qualify for compassionate care benefits, I suspect we may qualify for the proposed benefit.

Friday, April 28 at 5:10 pm | Reply


Just to confirm, if we already started the maternity leave before the government roll out the 18 months maternity leave. We are not entitle to extend our maternity leave to 18 months with our employer?

Tuesday, May 09 at 10:58 am | Reply

Join us on Twitter