The Conservative Party is promising, if elected, to extend employment insurance parental benefits to parents experiencing the trauma of a miscarriage, stillbirth or loss of a child.
“Every year, thousands of Canadian parents struggle with the loss of a child, but our current benefits system does not provide the proper support for grieving parents,” said Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party, in a press release. “Canada’s Conservatives will end the stigma and ensure parents have access to the financial support and time they need to mourn.”
The Conservatives are promising to extend EI parental leave for at least eight weeks following the death of a child. In addition, the Conservatives said they’ll provide up to eight weeks of paid leave from employment in the event of a stillbirth and three days of paid bereavement leave in the event of a miscarriage.
New Zealand amended its maternity benefits legislation this March, providing couples the right to three days of paid leave after a miscarriage or stillbirth, making it one of the first countries in the world to do so.
Currently, EI parental benefits in Canada end immediately following the death of a child; however, women whose pregnancies end before the 20-week mark can receive sickness benefits and, if they lose a child after that time, they may be able to receive maternity benefits.