Maternity and Parental Leave Policy

Royal Roads University Policy

Policy Number: 
AD-07
First implemented: 
January 1, 2006
Amended: 
August 1, 2018
Approved By: 
RRU Executive
Office of Oversight: 
VP & CFO

Policy Statement:

Aligned to our core value of Caring, and our commitment to being “a workplace of choice supporting professional and personal success”, Royal Roads University supports employee parents in taking time away from our workplace to care for their newly born or newly adopted children.

Leave Entitlements:

University employees are entitled to take maternity leave and parental leave in accordance with the BC Employment Standards Act.  Employees may be entitled to Employment Insurance benefits while they are on maternity and/or parental leave.

Employees planning to take maternity and/or parental leave are encouraged to review the relevant federal and provincial informational resources, refer to the University’s Maternity and Parental Leaves Policy Summary and consult with their HR Consultant.

Maternity Leave

An employee who is pregnant is entitled to take up to seventeen (17) consecutive weeks of maternity leave, which may begin at any time up to thirteen (13) weeks prior to the expected date of delivery.

Federal Employment Insurance benefit provisions for maternity leave may differ in weeks from provincial policy and legislation (see Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits below).

Parental Leave

A birth mother who has taken maternity leave is entitled to take up to sixty-one (61) consecutive weeks of parental leave, which must begin immediately after the maternity leave.

Other parents are entitled to take up to sixty-two (62) consecutive weeks of parental leave, which must begin within seventy-eight (78) weeks of the child's birth.  In the case of adopting parents, the sixty-two (62) weeks of leave must be commenced within seventy-eight (78) weeks of the date the child is placed with the parent.

Federal Employment Insurance benefit provisions for parental leave may differ in weeks from provincial policy and legislation (see Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits below).

Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits:

Eligibility for EI maternity and parental benefits, and the amount of benefit paid to parents, is determined by federal EI policy and legislation.

Employees are strongly encouraged to inform themselves about EI benefit eligibility, benefit amounts and the application process prior to initiating a claim.  Information can be found on the Government of Canada website at:  https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-maternity-parental.html 

EI requires that a one (1) week waiting period is served by one parent receiving EI maternity and/or parental benefits. There is only one waiting period per family, which means that if two parents are sharing parental leave benefits only one is required to serve the EI waiting period. In most cases, this will be the birth mother, who will have served a waiting period at the beginning of her maternity leave.

RRU Supplementary Benefits:

RRU provides benefits, supplementary to confirmed and documented maternity and/or parental EI benefits, to regular ongoing employees who will satisfy the return to work requirement (see Return to Work below) as follows:

Waiting Period (WP) Bridging benefit:

The University will pay 100% of the employee’s regular gross weekly earnings for the one (1) week unpaid EI waiting period.

Maternity Top-up benefit:

For employees who qualify for EI maternity leave benefits, the University will pay the difference between 95% of the employee’s regular gross weekly earnings and the amount of weekly EI benefit earnings the employee is confirmed and documented to be receiving from EI for up to fifteen (15) weeks following the expiry of the one (1) week waiting period. 

Parental Top-up benefit:

Standard Parental Leave:  For employees who opt for standard EI parental leave benefits, the University will pay the difference between 95% of the employee’s regular gross weekly earnings and the amount of weekly EI benefit earnings the employee is confirmed and documented to be receiving from EI for a period of up to ten (10) weeks following the expiry of the one (1) week waiting period (if applicable).  Top-up will not be provided for the remainder of the parental leave.

OR

Extended parental leave:  For employees who opt for extended parental leave benefits, the University will pay the difference between 73% of the employee’s regular gross weekly earnings and the amount of weekly EI benefit earnings the employee is confirmed and documented to be receiving from EI for a period of up to ten (10) weeks following the expiry of the one (1) week waiting period (if applicable).  Top-up will not be provided for the remainder of the parental leave.

Return to Work (RTW) Bridging benefit:

At the end of the employee’s leave for which EI benefits under their claim have been paid to completion, the University will pay 100% of the employee’s regular gross weekly earnings for an additional one (1) week prior to the employee returning to work.

Probationary Employees:

An employee who commences maternity and/or parental leave while on probation in a regular full-time or regular part-time position shall be provided RRU Supplementary Benefits in a lump sum after the employee has returned to  work and successfully completed their probation period.

Temporary and Casual Employees:

Temporary and casual employees taking maternity and/or parental leave are not eligible to receive RRU Supplementary Benefits.

Benefit Coverage, Vacation and Pension

While an employee is on maternity and/or parental leave, the University will continue to contribute the applicable premiums under the University’s group benefit plans.  Should the employee wish to continue Optional Life coverage, post-dated cheques shall be required from the employee for the period of leave to be covered.

Vacation entitlement and sick leave benefit accruals will continue during the maternity and/or parental leave period.

For employees participating in either the College Pension Plan or the Municipal Pension Plan, upon returning to work, there is a time-limited option to purchase service for periods where no or reduced contributions have been made.

Employees planning to request maternity and/or parental leave should consult with their HR Consultant for more information to understand their benefits while on leave.

Return to Work

Employees who have received RRU Supplementary Benefits must return to work for a minimum of twelve (12) months of continuous service (at or equivalent to their pre-leave work schedule/FTE) following maternity and/or parental leave.  If an employee who has received RRU Supplementary Benefits does not return to work or leaves the University’s employ prior to completing twelve (12) months of service, they will be required to re-pay the RRU Supplementary Benefits they received on a pro-rata basis, with repayment reduced 1/12th for every month of service completed following the employee’s return to work.

Leave Request Process:

At least four (4) weeks prior to the planned commencement of the leave, the employee should complete the RRU’s Maternity & Parental Leave Form and submit it to their supervisor for signature endorsement and forwarding to Payroll.