The Government of Canada is creating and extended parental leave benefit for Canadians, but only if both parents take the time off together.
The government is putting this in place so the responsibility of being a parent is more equally shared amongst the couple and to increase gender equality in the workplace.
Parents with children born or obtained through adoption on or after March 17th, 2019 will be eligible for this benefit. The government believes that just from implementing this extended parental leave 3 months earlier than originally anticipated, more than 24,000 parents will already benefit from this.
“Providing women with equal economic opportunities will drive innovation and support middle class families. The new parental sharing benefit will give parents extra flexibility and encourage Canadians to share the work of raising their children more equally,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
According to government figures, women make 85% of all parental claims and often take longer leaves of absence from the workplace for things such as maternity leave.
The Status of Women Minister said that when child-care duties fall unevenly between couples and mostly onto the women, there will be economic and social consequences that arise from it.
Parents who share the benefits and select the standard duration of benefits could get up to 40 weeks of benefits, which is up from the normal 35 weeks of parental benefits. Comparatively, if you select the extended duration of benefits you could receive up to 69 weeks of benefits, up from 61 weeks.Read more about the extended parental benefits plan on the Government of Canada’s website here.