(Closed) No maternity leave = end of the world?

posted 5 years ago in TTC
Post # 31
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Another AB bee here.  You need to work 600 hours in the 52 weeks prior to when your baby arrives to qualify for federally-funded EI maternity/parental leave and to have your employer hold a position for you.  If you have EI deductions taken off your paycheque, you are eligible with enough hours. 

Individual companies may have different policies regarding what they offer and how long you have to work there before you can take advantage of it, but that doesn’t affect your ability to claim from the federal program.  My company, for example, tops you up to 75% for the first six weeks if you have worked here a year.

I would keep looking for a better, full time job, but also explore what, if any, EI you would qualify for with your current PT job.  If you hold off to start trying until closer to six months from now, you give yourself that much more time to find a new job.  Even if you were newly pregnant when you got your new job, if it’s full time, you would still likely qualify for maternity/parental leave by the time baby arrives.

Only you and DH know if your finances can handle a new baby on a single income.  I know how expensive it is to live in AB and a lot of people can’t do it, but if you’re only working limited PT hours now, maybe it could be an option for you?   Are there things in your budget you could cut?  Kijiji is great for finding really good quality used baby stuff for cheap, and you don’t need that much for the first while anyways.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  Rheagan.
Post # 32
4027 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
Haruyou:  Depends entirely on your finances and what you can afford to sacrifice.

I wouldn’t personally get pregnant unless I was going to be eligible for maternity leave. I work at a place that doesn’t offer paid lead (just your vacation days you have accrued), but FMLA does protect my job up to 12 weeks. That is more important to me than paid leave (so I would love that) because I need to return to work after having a baby.

Given my role and responsibilties, I will likely retunr to work after 3-4 weeks though. Fortunately, I have 3 weeks vacation a year and we would just build up our savings to account for whatever time I take off. DH has 12 days vacation and would use in time either in conjuction or after mine. He could use FMLA as well, which he might do since he makes about half what I make and may move to part-time once we have a child.

Post # 34
1037 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Definitely not the end of the world but I would be choked to know the option is available and I would be essentially losing out on free money. I think the max works out to about $1700 a month so it’s a decent amount. 

Post # 35
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Loft

Your information is not correct. I am also in Alberta. If it was your first job EVER that would be true but if you have worked a minimum of 600 hours ( I believe) in the 52 weeks (anywhere) prior to giving birth, you are eligible. 

Post # 36
6516 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

View original reply
Haruyou:  im going to say no its not the end of the world as US women do it all the time bc the wonderful US doesnt offer paid maternity leave. 

Post # 37
3324 posts
Sugar bee

A baby doesn’t have to cost big bucks.  The inky thing got really need to buy new is a car seat.  Everything else can be gotten second hand for pretty cheap.


Breast milk is free so you wouldn’t have another mouth to feed for a while.  Diapers are expensive but not that crazy. 

Definitely remember that EI is only about 55% of your salary,  to a max of 55,000 a year. So the mac you can receive is just over 400 a week. 



Post # 38
9389 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

Is it the end of the world? Nope… but if you plan to TTC in 6 mo. and of course gestation is almost 10 mo…. you’re well past 51 weeks right there.  Sure, you need to find that job first… but assuming it takes you 6 mo. to find the job, is it so bad if you wait another 2 mo. after that before TTC?  Seems like that’s worth getting paid leave, to me.

Post # 39
589 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

View original reply
Haruyou:  Personally I would not be as comfortable having my baby without the security of FI’s job with benefits and my paid maternity leave. However, if you look at your finances and think you can make it work then you should! As they say there is no perfect time to have a baby there will always be a reason to delay having a child until you are more “secure” one way or another. 

Post # 40
6937 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Boy #1 12/2015, boy #2 02/2018

View original reply
Haruyou:  It’s not the end of the world. I live in the US, and I would not have maternity leave rather I will be unemployed because my plan is to finish grad school right around the time baby is born. Our plan is to use savings, be extra frugal, breastfeed (FX I have no issues with this), and seek employment as soon as baby is at least two months old. I hope you qualify for maternity leave, but even if you don’t for X reason, it’s not the end of the world.

Post # 41
3212 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I don’t know if OP is still worried about this, but in case anyone else Albertan comes in and wants to see: 


you are eligible for your job to be held for 52 consecutive weeks regardless of length of employment.

you just may not be eligible for maternity and/or parental leave. You are entitled to at least six weeks which you must take unless you have a doctors’ note and your employer agrees you can come back early. You are entitled to at least 15 weeks, actually, for the medical issues with birth; that is paid out of federal EI if you qualify due to hours worked. The parental leave after that of 37 weeks can be taken by either parent or both for a total of 37 weeks. (You could do 18 weeks mom then 19 weeks dad, or any combination consecutively, or both take your leave at the same time.) again, may count out of EI.


Post # 42
2116 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’ve only read the original post.

I will get 2 weeks of paid time off post-birth and then can apply for short-term disability coverage. I do not qualify for FMLA because of my company’s size, so legally, they could replace me. However, we’re a small, tight-knit company, and I feel that my job is safe. I do not feel that having to take unpaid time off will be the end of the world for us only because we’re in a financial situation to be able to handle that. I’d likely feel differently in a different financial situation.

The topic ‘No maternity leave = end of the world?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors