The Parental Leave Act

The right to parental leave is regulated in the Parental Leave Act.

The Parental Leave Act gives parents the right to take leave from employment, with or without parental benefit and temporary parental benefit. The Act is not limited to parents, but also covers certain other individuals, such as legal guardians who take care of a child.

Parents are entitled to take leave from employment until the child is 18 months old, regardless of whether the parent is receiving parental benefit. After this age, parents are entitled to leave only if they are receiving parental benefit or temporary parental benefit to care for a sick child.

Until the child has turned eight years old or has completed first grade, parents are also entitled to a reduction of normal working hours by up to one quarter.

Parents with shared custody are each entitled to half of the 480 days of parental leave assigned per child. They can transfer days to each other, except for the 60 days reserved for each parent.

The right to compensation during parental leave is regulated in collective agreements and the Social Insurance Code.

Employment protection

The Parental Leave Act also prohibits employers from disfavouring a job applicant or an employee for reasons related to parental leave, employment decisions, promotions and distribution of work tasks.

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