Changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) parental benefits regime and related leaves under the Employment Insurance Act and Canada Labour Code came into force on December 3, 2017. As previously reported, this new regime, enacted under Bill C-44, will to allow parents to choose between:
- an extended period of EI parental benefits of up to 18 months at a lower benefit rate of 33 per cent of average weekly earnings; or
- to remain at the existing benefit rate of 55 per cent of average weekly earnings over a period of up to 12 months.
In other words, employees will be able to opt for a prolonged parental leave, will receive the same amount of EI benefits in total, but spread out in smaller payments over the longer period.
The new amendments also include a benefit for family members to care for a critically ill adult, and allow for benefits to care for a critically ill child to be payable to family members.
Before making any revisions to your workplace policies, we recommend consulting a labour and employment lawyer.