New leave without pay and allowances allows Canadian Armed Forces members to spend more time at home with their child

CAF member holding baby

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Canadian Armed Forces members may now request a new type of leave to take advantage of changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) parental benefits.

In March 2019, EI benefits changed to allow parents to share either 40 weeks of standard parental benefits or 69 weeks of extended parental benefits.

The new leave without pay and allowances (LWOP) for personal reasons for parental purposes allows members of the Regular Force and Reserve Force members on Class B or C periods of service, who live outside Quebec, to benefit from the EI changes more fully. Reserve Force members on Class A reserve service need to request an exemption from duty and training for personal reasons to get the time off; there is no allowance associated with this leave.

Because the Province of Quebec administers its own Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), Canadian Armed Forces members who are residents of Quebec are not eligible for maternity or parental benefits, including the extended benefits, offered through the Employment Insurance program.

EI and QPIP maternity benefits, which are separate from parental benefits and are intended for recovery from childbirth, are still up to 15 or 18 weeks, respectively.

Maternity and parental benefits to top up salaries to 93 percent of pay and eligible allowances remain at a combined maximum of 364 days. During the additional weeks, Canadian Armed Forces members who live outside of Quebec can receive EI benefits of 33 percent of their salaries to a maximum amount set by the Government of Canada each year, but not an additional top-up to their salaries.

To learn more, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and EI maternity and parental benefits: How much you could receive.

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