When do I need to start my leave?
Birth mothers must begin their maternity leave no later than the expected delivery date of the baby or actual birth date of the baby, whichever is earliest. Your leave may begin as early as 17 weeks before your expected delivery date. Parental leave must immediately follow maternity leave for birth mothers.
Other parents must begin their leave no later than 52 weeks after the day the child is born or comes into the employee’s custody, care and control for the first time.
How do I notify Human Resources of my leave?
Submit an absence request on Workday and select Pregnancy/Parental/Adoption > Pregnancy/Parental in the Type field. You will be required to attach a doctor’s note indicating the due date in the attachment field. Please submit this request ideally one month prior to the start of your leave, but at a minimum at least two weeks prior to the start of your leave.
Can I return to work earlier than the date I originally indicated?
An employee on pregnancy or parental leave may return to work earlier than planned by providing written notice to their manager at least four weeks prior to the new return date.
A birth mother who wishes to return to work earlier than six weeks following the birth of her child must have the written approval of her physician.
Human Resources will adjust your leave dates in Workday; review your absence dates are correct.
Can I extend my leave for a longer period than I originally indicated?
An employee on pregnancy or parental leave may extend their leave dates to the maximum time permitted under the Employment Standards Act by providing written notice to their manager at least four weeks prior to the new return date.
To alter your leave date up to the maximum time permitted under the ESA, please contact Human Resources by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to take additional unpaid leave time after you have reached the maximum leave permitted under the ESA, this must be discussed and approved by your manager at least four weeks prior to the initial return to work date. For staff, please refer to Policy 39 and complete a Staff Leave of Absence Request form (PDF). For Faculty, please refer to Policy 3 and complete a Sabbatical Application or Request for Leave of Absence (DOC). Submit completed paperwork to HR, East Campus One (EC1) 1003, or email to email@example.com.
What do I need to do to start my employment insurance (EI) benefits?
Apply for EI as soon as you’ve stopped working. You can do this on-line or in person at your nearest Service Canada Location. EI will require a Record of Employment (ROE) in order to process your claim. This will be issued electronically directly to Service Canada by Payroll.
For birth mothers eligible for the six weeks of birth leave benefits, your ROE will be issued within 7 business days following payment of this benefit. Service Canada considers this insurable earnings and will not begin your EI benefits until after payment of this benefit has completed. For all others, your ROE will be issued within 7 business days following payment of your last pay. You do not have to wait to receive your ROE before starting your application for Employment Insurance benefits, however Service Canada will not process your claim and begin your benefits until your ROE is received.
Your EI benefits will then be assessed by Service Canada based on your individual situation. The maximum coverage provided is 52 weeks.
Can I work while receiving employment insurance (EI) benefits?
Working while receiving EI benefits may have an impact on the payments you’re eligible to receive. Information about working while receiving EI benefits can be accessed through the Service Canada website.
How do I apply for the University’s supplementary birth leave and the top-up benefit?
For birth mothers, Human Resources will assess your eligibility for the birth leave benefit and pay it automatically.
The Top-up benefit will be processed when you provide proof of your EI benefits. Acceptable proof is a screen shot or printout of your Service Canada account (see sample below) showing your assessed weekly EI benefits. Submit paperwork to HR, East Campus One (EC1) 1003 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A completed Pregnancy/Parental Leave Request form must already have been submitted to HR.
If I am not taking a leave, how do I access the 10 days of paid time off around my child’s birth/adoption?
The University provides 10 paid days off around the time of your child’s birth or adoption for employees who are not taking pregnancy or parental leave. Arrangements for these leaves are handled through discussion with your manager.
Will my University of Waterloo supplementary benefits be affected if I work while on pregnancy or parental leave?
Yes. Any earnings from the University for work performed while on leave will reduce your top-up benefits accordingly.
What happens if I do not return to work at the University for the required six months after my leave?
Employees are required to return to work for the University for the equivalent of six months full-time following their leave in order to keep their supplementary top-up benefit. If you voluntarily leave your employment with the University during the six month period following your leave you will be required to repay the top-up benefit. Birth leave benefits paid to birth mothers are not repayable.
If you do not intend to return to work after your leave please contact Human Resources at email@example.com or extension 35935 for guidance.
What happens to my benefits and pension during my leave?
If you are receiving birth leave or top-up benefits, your benefit premiums (i.e. Long Term Disability, Life Insurance, Extended Health, Dental) and pension contributions will continue to be deducted from the payments you are receiving. If your leave extends beyond your top-up benefit period, you must continue participating in our plans, unless equivalent coverage is demonstrated. Employees who choose not to contribute to the Pension Plan during their leave will not accrue full pension service credits, resulting in a lower pension at retirement. Please note that lost pension service may not be contributed in the future.
If you have chosen not to participate in your pension plan and/or have alternative benefits coverage; please consult Human Resources for guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will be required to cover your share of benefit premiums and pension contributions for the period of your leave where you are not receiving any payments through the University by submitting post-dated cheques. Human Resources will send you a letter with the details in the month prior to the start of your leave.You can review your current benefit and pension costs on your pay statement online. For information on how to view your pay statement, please visit the pay statement guide in the Payroll section of the HR website.