Pregnancy/Parental Leave Procedure

Purpose statement

This procedure defines the conditions for granting pregnancy/parental leave, the application process and applicable benefits.

Scope

This procedure and any financial provisions apply to all non-union employees and union employees subject to terms and conditions in their respective collective agreements.

This Procedure shall be read in conjunction with the Employment Standards Act, 2000, (ESA) as amended, and the terms and conditions of the applicable collective agreement.

Pregnancy leave

A pregnant employee hired at least 13 weeks before her due date is entitled to seventeen (17) weeks unpaid pregnancy leave. The period of the leave shall be taken at the discretion of the employee during the weeks immediately preceding and/or immediately following the birth of the child.

Parental leave (including adoption)

New parents will be granted unpaid parental leave in accordance with the Employment Standards Act. A new parent must be hired for at least 13 weeks before commencing a parental leave.

Birth mothers who took pregnancy leave are entitled to up to 35 weeks' leave. Birth mothers who do not take pregnancy leave and all other new parents are entitled to up to 37 weeks' parental leave.

Parental leave is not part of pregnancy leave and so a birth mother may take both pregnancy and parental leave. In addition, the right to a parental leave is independent of the right to pregnancy leave. For example, a birth father could be on parental leave at the same time the birth mother is on either her pregnancy leave or parental leave. The combined parental leave between both parents must not exceed 37 weeks.

Parental leave must begin no more than fifty-two weeks after the day the child is born or comes into the custody, care and control of the employee for the first time.

Request for leave

Application for pregnancy/parental leave shall be made, in writing, to the employee’s immediate supervisor with a copy to the Manager of Payroll & Benefits:

  • Application shall normally be made no later than four (4) weeks prior to the leave beginning;
  • Requests for pregnancy leave must also be accompanied by certification of a Medical Practitioner;
  • Requests for parental leave must be accompanied by verification of the birth of the employee’s child or the coming of a child into the employee’s custody, care and control for the first time;
  • Requests for parental leave by the birth mother should be made, if possible, prior to the commencement of the pregnancy leave;
  • All requests for leave must state the proposed beginning and end date of the leave.
  • Employees wishing to return from the leave early must provide at least four weeks notice prior to the revised return date.

Return to work

When an employee returns from pregnancy leave, she shall be reinstated in her former position, if it continues to exist.  If it does not, then the employee shall be reinstated in a comparable position at the current rate of the job vacated.

Service date and vacation

Vacation entitlement and service will continue to accrue in the normal fashion.

OMERS and benefits

The Town shall continue all applicable extended health benefits during the leave period.  Employees have the option to pay the employee’s contribution portion to OMERS.  If so, the town will continue the employer’s contribution in accordance with OMERS regulations.

Definitions

Parent: Birth parent, adopting parent, person in a relationship of some permanence with a parent of a child and plans to treat the child as their own.  

Procedure details

Procedure Number: HR-MNG-001-010
Parent Policy: HR-MNG-001
Section: Human Resources
Sub-Section: Manage
Author: Human Resources Department
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2012 Dec 17
Review by Date: 2017