Figure - Text version - EI Parental Sharing Benefit

Employment Insurance parental benefits allows parents to take the time they need to care for their children.

To support equal parenting and the flexibility for earlier returns to work, the Government introduces a new Employment Parental Sharing Benefit which will be available when both parents agree to share parental leave.

Currently, under the standard parental benefit option of 35 weeks paid at 55 per cent of average weekly earnings:

  • Either parent may take up to 35 weeks;
  • The other parent may take the remainder of the 35 total weeks available;
  • Parents can share the 35 total weeks in various combinations. For example, one parent could choose to access 20 weeks, and the other 15 weeks; or one parent could choose to access 10 weeks, and the other 25 weeks.  
  • If a couple decides that one parent takes 35 weeks, there are no week available to the other parent.

In comparison, with the new Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit:

  • Either parent may take up to 35 weeks;
  • The other parent may take the remainder of the 40 total weeks available;
  • Parents can share the 40 total weeks in various combinations. For example, parents could choose to split the parental benefits equally and each access 20 weeks; or one parent could choose to access 15 weeks, and the other 25 weeks. 
  • A minimum of 5 weeks is available for each parent.

Equivalent rules would apply to Employment Insurance extended parental benefits with 61 weeks as the limit for one parent, and up to 69 weeks available in total (paid at 33% of average weekly earnings).