Helpful tips for those planning a Pregnancy/Parental/Adoption Leave
Planning your leave
- Please provide at least three months' notice of your intent to take a pregnancy/ parental/ adoption leave. This notice will allow your faculty or department to plan for coverage of your leave.
- For optimal coordination with Employment Insurance benefits, we encourage you to begin your leave on a Saturday. In all cases, a leave begins the very next calendar day after your last day worked. Therefore, if your last day is a Friday, your leave must begin Saturday.
- Your vacation will accrue during your leave as it would if you were working. Many people choose to add some or all of their earned vacation to the end of their leave. Please consider whether this option is good for you and discuss vacation timing with your department administrator/supervisor in advance of your leave. All vacation is subject to normal approval processes.
- It is important to know that to receive the Supplemental Employment Insurance Benefits (SEIB - a top up to EI) from Western you must be receiving EI benefits and meet the other SEIB qualification requirements for your employee group. This means that as soon as you begin receiving EI, you must provide proof of receipt of EI to Western Human Resources. If you are sharing the EI parental benefits with your partner, ensure you plan to receive EI parental benefits for enough weeks to claim the SEIB from Western.
- While you are receiving the SEIB from Western, all group insurance benefits will be continued and the group insurance premiums and pension contributions will automatically be deducted from your SEIB. If you do not receive SEIB, or when your SEIB payments end, you will receive notification from Human Resources requesting your share of the cost of group benefits, including your employee pension contribution. At your discretion, and provided you arrange for payment of the employee share of the costs, those group benefits and pension contributions paid by you will be continued.
- Seniority will accrue during a pregnancy/parental leave.
- You may wish to contact the Parking department to return your pass and stop parking payments while you are on leave.
- If you have purchased a computer from the Computer Store and are making payments through payroll deduction, please contact Financial Services, Accounts Receivable to make arrangements for payments while you are on leave. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When your leave begins
- Please apply for Employment Insurance (EI) as soon as possible after your leave begins. You may apply for EI online at Service Canada.
- Western Human Resources department will electronically file a Record of Employment (ROE) with Service Canada. When Service Canada has received both your application and the ROE, they will be able to process your application. If you access your Service Canada account online, you will be able to view your ROE.
- Employment Insurance may have a one-week waiting period.
- If you will be receiving SEIB payments from Western, SEIB payments in the one-week waiting period will be higher so that your income is at or close to your pre-leave income.
- It is essential that you provide Western with proof you are receiving EI, or your SEIB payments cannot be processed. As soon as you begin receiving EI, please forward proof of receipt of EI to Western Human Resources.
- To provide proof, go to the Service Canada website page called My Service Canada Account. Choose “Login to My Service Canada account” and print a copy of your “My Latest Claim” page. Please email a copy to Human Resources at email@example.com.
- The income tax you owe annually is based on your total income from all sources within the tax year. Each source of income (ex. Western for SEIB payments, Service Canada for EI benefits) will be deducting taxes from your benefit payments as though it is your only source of income. The taxes being withheld from each of the sources may not be sufficient to meet your true tax obligation. Based on your personal tax situation, you may wish to request additional income tax withholding. You may consider:
- Increasing the amount of tax withheld from your regular pay (in advance, or following your return)
- Increasing the amount withheld from SEIB benefits paid by Western
- Increasing the amount withheld from your EI benefits paid by Service Canada.
- To change the taxes withheld by Western, log into your My Human Resources account. You can request additional tax under Pay/Personal Tax Credit Information. If you request additional taxes, remember to change it back when you no longer need it.
When the baby is born/adopted
- If your baby arrives earlier than the day your leave is to start, please email Human Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your department as soon as possible, as your leave and benefit dates will need to be changed.
- As soon as possible (within 31 days) following the baby’s birth/adoption, please add the baby to your benefits and update your life insurance beneficiaries by completing a Benefits Application/Change Form. To review your current benefit elections and beneficiaries, sign on to My Human Resources, choose Benefits/Benefits Summary and click on a specific benefit to review details. Also, consider whether you need to update your pension beneficiaries. Go to sunlife.ca/western and select Sign in:
- Select my financial centre > Quick Links > Beneficiary info
- Select Edit and enter your beneficiary
- Select Update
- To confirm the beneficiary designation(s) you entered in the step above are accurate and are to be applied to your account, check the box revoking any previous beneficiaries on file with Sun Life
- Click Submit. You will receive confirmation that your beneficiary information has been updated and can print a copy of the designation for your records.
- If you have not done so, be sure to provide Western Human Resources with proof that you are receiving EI. This is essential to allow SEIB payments to be made. Proof can be emailed to Human Resources at email@example.com.
- PMA, SAGE, UWOSA, CUPE, IUOE, PSAC Local 611, and OPSEU employees. Your collective agreement or association policy requires you to return to the University at the end of your leave for at least six months or you must reimburse the University in full for all SEIB payments made.
Returning to work
- Before beginning your leave you are asked to provide the date you plan to return from leave. If you decide to change the date you wish to return to work, you are required to provide at least four weeks of notice to your department and to Human Resources.
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.
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