Post # 1
For us lucky Canadian Bees that get 12 months mat leave I have a question! DH and I will start TTC in 6ish months (travel plans holding me back). So, since we’re not even TTC yet, I don’t want to ask this question to anyone here at work. I work 8 months of the year on contract, the other 4 months I’m off. I always go back to the same contract, but I do have to reapply every year. If I wanted to take my 12 months mat leave. I’m wondering how it would work? Say if my 12 months was up in the middle of the contract, could I apply for it at the beginning and have a mat leave replacement for the first half? Or would I have to either go back early or take 18 months off (so then there would be 4 months without pay)? Say I do take the 18 months, that means there would be a whole contract that I wouldn’t be working, so obviously a new employee would be hired. When the next contract comes around, would the new employee get hired before me? We’re unionized so it goes by senority.
Alot of those questions probably can’t even be answered – I would have to ask someone here at work. Should I ask them? Because I really do need to know. Or would it be strange to ask when I’m note even pregnant?
Post # 2
Hmm – this is a tough one as it sounds like a pretty unique situation! Normally when a person goes on mat leave the employer must have their position for them (or a similar one) when they get back. In your case you’d be leaving in the midst of a fixed term contract… have you read through all the terms of the contracts you’ve signed previously? I’m wondering if there is something already written in the fine print? You’re definitely going to have to ask someone unfortunately. Do you have an HR department you can go to? Generally they can keep things pretty confidential. I definitely don’t see anything wrong with just getting information for your future plans… Good Luck! 🙂
Post # 3
I would say it would depend in whether or not the contract is flexible to start after your done, or if its a fixed time, you may just have to wait until it rolls around again. If for example your finished mat leave in the middle of the working contract period… you may have to work the remaining time (say 4 months) and then as per normal you would then have the 4 months off, or if you finished 2 months in then you’d work the 6 etc…. Basically if its a fixed time period/term you may have to wait if you finish during the 4 months you normally have off… or work whats remaining and then go the regular 4 months off kind of thing. Does that make sense? That would be my guess
Post # 4
Do you pay into EI through your employer when you’re on contract? This must be considered too as Parental leave is partially paid from EI and partially from your employer. I second the pp who suggested talking to HR confidentially.
Post # 5
Well, your union might have their own rules, but off the top of my head, I would say it depends on two things:
1) are you paying into EI?
2) How many hours will you have worked when you go on mat leave?
You need to be paying into EI to get it, and you need to have worked 600 hours in either the past year, or since you last started taking EI (whichever is shorter). I’m going to assume you are a teacher, and if you’re like my SIL this could get complicated, as I know she gets EI over the summer. So that would cut into how much EI you could get, depending on when you go.
Post # 6
If you’re on contract you might not qualify for EI – a lot of contract employees don’t becuase you don’t pay in to EI and that’s all mat leave is. You’d need to look into the mat leave rules for your province (they vary a biit) and the federal rules but generally if you don’t qualify for EI, you don’t qualify for mat leave.
Post # 7
I’ve worked contracts before although not pregnant yet. I would imagine you would qualify for EI as everyone pays in and all you need is a set number of payable hours (the number depends on several things). I don’t think that’s an issue.
Where you do have to reapply every year I would talk to HR. Perhaps they can have you sign a 2 year contract or something to cover the year. Also I think you’d get the 8 months you work plus the 4 you don’t. I don’t believe you could defer the 4 months.
Post # 8
This is a complicated legal question. Since you’re unionized, there will be clear policies and a rep to talk to you, so go and do that. I would do it now rather than later because you might need to do some financial planning.
Post # 9
I could be totally wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the year mat leave is based on a full time yearly employment – you don’t just ‘get’ a year regardless. Might be different for let’s say a Teacher’s job – is that what you have? I don’t know, you might have to pay into the difference or something. Definitely a question for Service Canada.
Post # 10
Thanks Bees! Looks like I’ll have to go to someone in confidence and ask. I do pay into EI so I will qualify for maternity benefits – the amount depends on the number of hours I have that year. I’m really curious about how it will affect my contract work and what would happen if I miss a contract – when the next one comes around who would have priority – me or the person who replaced me? And that I guess is a question for someone here – I’ll have to bite the bullet and just ask.
Post # 11
Everything you contact HR about should be confidential. Asking a professional question about mat leave shouldn’t be frowned upon or be a blemish on you. It’s a natural part of evolution of employees.