The BCGEU has reached agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding with the B.C. government on changes to public service maternity, parental and pre-adoption leave (Article 21), to align with federal government changes to EI regulations as noted below:
Pregnant workers now have the ability to claim the existing 15 weeks of EI maternity benefits as early as 12 weeks before the expected week of childbirth, up from the current 6 weeks.
- For children born or placed for adoption on or after December 3, 2017, claimants may choose the standard parental benefit, as originally provided in the Employment Insurance Act, or an extended parental benefit which provides a lower benefit rate over a longer duration (up to 18 months when combined with maternity leave).
Complete background on the federal changes can be found here:
Attached is a link to a PDF copy of the MOU with the Public Service Agency to action these changes, which gives members the ability to opt for standard parental leave of 37 weeks, or extended parental leave of 63 weeks. The decision is irrevocable. Members who choose the extended option will receive the top-up amount spread over 61 weeks rather than 35.
This MOU simply updates the current language to reflect the federal EI changes, and will likely form part of negotiations to improve benefits for members in upcoming negotiations on the Public Service Agreement.
If you have further questions, please contact your job steward for clarification.
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