Pregnancy, Parental & Adoption Leave

Baby socks on a clothes line spelling Western

Congratulations!  You are having a baby, or perhaps you are adopting a child.  Maybe you are just doing some family planning and wondering if the timing is right.  This site is intended to give you, as a prospective parent, the information you need to plan a leave from your work at Western, and to understand what time off and paid benefits may be available to you.  Some of those benefits come from Western and some from the Government of Canada.

Important Step to Determine Your Eligibility

There are a number of factors that can impact your eligibility to receive paid leave and Supplemental Employment Insurance Benefits (SEIB). If you are planning a leave, please read the information on this website carefully and then complete the Pregnancy/Parental Leave Information Request form (Western user id and password required). You will be contacted by Western Human Resources with information about your eligibility and assistance in planning your leave.

Time Off

The Ontario Ministry of Labour, through the Employment Standards Act, provides eligible employees who are pregnant or who are new parents with the right to take unpaid time off work.

  • Pregnancy Leave (Maternity Leave) - 17 weeks of unpaid time off work is available to pregnant women.
  • Parental Leave - new parents have the right to take Parental Leave - unpaid time off when a child is born or is adopted.
    • Birth mothers who have taken Pregnancy Leave are entitled to up to 61 weeks of Parental Leave.
    • Birth mothers who do not take Pregnancy Leave and all other new parents are entitled to up to 63 weeks of Parental Leave.

Note - both parents can be on Parental Leave at the same time. A birth mother may take both Pregnancy (Maternity) and Parental Leave.

Paid Benefits

Depending on a number of factors, you may be entitled to the following benefits:

Administered by the Government of Canada (Service Canada)

Note: You must confirm your eligibility and apply in order to receive these benefits.

  • Maternity benefits - paid for a maximum of 15 weeks to a birth mother through federal Employment Insurance (EI).
  • Parental benefits - paid through EI to either biological or adoptive parents while they are caring for a newborn or an adopted child or children.
    • Standard parental benefits can be paid for a maximum of 40 weeks, neither parent can access more than 35 weeks in total and must generally be claimed within a 52-week period after the week the child was born or placed for the purpose of adoption.
    • Extended parental benefits can be paid for a maximum of 69 weeks, neither parent can access more than 61 weeks in total and must generally be claimed within a 78-week period after the week the child was born or placed for adoption.
    • Both parents are required to choose the same parental leave benefit option.

Before you start receiving Employment Insurance benefits, there may be a “waiting period” for which you will not be paid any benefits.  The waiting period for EI benefits is one week.  If you qualify to receive Supplemental Employment Insurance Benefits (SEIB) from Western, SEIB payments in that waiting period will be higher so that your income is at or close to your pre-leave income.

You will find external links on the left that will allow you to find out more about government legislation and eligibility for benefits.

Administered by Western

Note: You must confirm your eligibility and apply in order to receive these benefits.

  • Supplemental Employment Insurance Benefits (SEIB) – a paid benefit provided by Western, this income is designed to provide eligible faculty and staff members with additional funds to “top up” EI benefits.

The paid benefits you receive from Western will depend on a number of factors, including your employment status with Western, the length of time you have worked at Western (minimum one year) and the employee group that you belong to.

To learn more, please choose your employee group from those listed below.

This website is provided for information and planning purposes for Western employees only.  While every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, if any conflict exists between the information on this website and the provisions of the various collective agreements or applicable legislation, the collective agreements or legislation prevail.


If you require Human Resources forms, documents or other information in an alternative format, please contact hrhelp@uwo.ca.


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