Benefit Plan

Frequently Asked Questions – Maternity & Parental Leaves


Federal and provincial legislation protects an employee’s right to take a maternity leave and outlines the employer’s role in the administration of benefits during such a leave. The Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese’s maternity leave policy is accountable to employment related legislation and at no time reflects rights that are less than those provided by federal or provincial legislation.

The information that will be provided within this document is held in compliance with the following governing bodies:

1. Employment Insurance (EI)
2. Employment Standards Act (ESA)
3. Human Resources & Social Development Canada (HRDC)

This document provides details of benefit plans, but it is not a legal document. In the event of any conflict between the contents of this guide and the actual plans & contracts or regulations (as outlined by any applicable governing bodies), the provisions outlined in the latter will apply.

Overview of Benefits

Maternity benefits (as defined by EI)

Maternity benefits are payable to the birth mother for a maximum of 15 weeks. To receive maternity benefits you are required to have worked for 600 hours in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim. You need to prove your pregnancy by signing a statement declaring the expected due or actual date of birth.

Effective December 3, 2017 the mother can start collecting maternity benefits either up to 12 weeks before she is expected to give birth or at the week she gives birth. Maternity benefits can be collected within 17 weeks of the actual or expected week of birth, whichever is later. Please note that the date you file your claim is very important in order for you to receive the maximum maternity benefits you are entitled to. If you are unsure about your most advantageous maternity period to receive maximum benefits, please contact EI. If the actual date of birth is different from the expected date of birth, it is very important that you provide this date as soon as possible after the birth of your child. Please contact EI at 1-800-206-7218 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and press “0” to speak to a representative. This way they will be able to determine the most advantageous maternity period, in order to receive the maximum maternity benefits you are entitled to.

Parental benefits (as defined by EI)

Parental benefits are payable either to the biological or adoptive parents while they are caring for a new-born or an adopted child, up to a maximum of 35 weeks. To receive parental benefits you are required to have worked for 600 hours in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim. You must sign a statement declaring the newborn’s date of birth, or, when there is an adoption, the child’s date of placement for the purpose of the adoption, and the name and address of the adoption authority.

Parental benefits can be claimed by one parent or shared between the two partners but will not exceed a combined maximum of 35 weeks. Claimants making application for parental benefits must provide the name and Social Insurance Number (SIN) of the other parent for cross-reference purposes.

Parental benefits for biological parents and their spouses are payable from the child’s birth date and for adoptive parents and their spouses from the date the child is placed with you. Parental benefits are only available within the 52 weeks following the child’s birth, or for adoptive parents, within the 52 weeks from the date the child is placed with you, unless your child is hospitalized.

The weekly EI payment and the number of weeks to be paid remain the same even if you give birth to more than one child or if you adopt at the same time.


Maternity Leave refers to the federally legislative leave provided to the biological mother at the time of the birth of a child. Maternity Employment Insurance (EI) benefits are payable to the birth mother for a maximum of 15 weeks.

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) – aka: maternity “top-up” benefit refers to the supplemental wage-loss benefit support paid to only teachers and principals of the CISVA, by the local school as the difference between the Employment Insurance payable and 75% of gross salary. This benefit is payable upon the date of birth of the child. This benefit is not paid during the months of July and August as there is no wage-loss during that time.

Waiting Period refers to the 1 week period before Employment Insurance benefits begin to be paid. Generally this period is the first week of the EI claim.

If both parents share parental benefits, only one waiting period needs to be served. If a 1-week waiting period has been served for maternity benefits, the waiting period for parental benefits will be waived.

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) allows qualified claimants to receive up to 15 weeks of maternity benefits and 35 weeks of parental benefits at 55% of their insurable earnings to a maximum of $543/week (2017).

Employment Standards Act

Labour standards legislation provides minimum entitlements for employees on maternity leave and states that an employee is entitled to an unpaid maternity leave. While on leave, the individual continues to be in an employee and upon return to work, the employer is required to reinstate the employee in the prior position or to an alternate comparable position.

Increments in salary are to be paid to the employee upon return to work as employees continue to accrue increments on the salary scale grid while on a maternity leave.

Pension and Benefits

The Employment Standards Act (ESA) also requires that when a member of a pension plan is required to make member contributions under the plan (as the pension plan of the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese), the member who takes a Maternity leave may continue to participate in and accrue benefits under the pension plan for the duration of the approved leave. Employer contributions will also continue during this leave, unless the member elects in writing (please refer to Waiver section found on the Maternity Leave contract) not to participate in the pension plan for the duration of the approved leave.

Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), Group Insurance benefits also continue accordingly.

Employment Insurance (EI)

Who is eligible?

To be entitled to maternity, parental or sickness benefits you must show that:

  • your regular weekly earnings have been decreased by more than 40%; and
  • you have accumulated 600 insured hours in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim. This period is called the qualifying period.

Qualifying period

The qualifying period is the shorter of:

  • the 52 week-period immediately before the start date of a claim, or
  • the period since the start of a previous EI claim if that claim had started during the 52 week-period.

How, where and when to apply

To receive maternity, parental or sickness benefits you must submit an EI application on-line or in person to your Service Canada Centre. You should apply as soon as you stop working, even if you receive or will receive money when you become unemployed.

You must request your Record of Employment (ROE) from your last employer. If you have your ROE from your last employer, apply immediately. If you did not receive your last ROE, submit your application along with proof of employment — for example, pay stubs. If one or more ROE covering periods prior to your last employment are missing, you must still submit your claim for benefits.

Generally, a ROE must be issued within five (5) calendar days of the interruption of earnings or the date the employer becomes aware of the interruption.

What information/documents are needed to apply?

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
  • a Record of Employment (ROE) from each job held over the last 52 weeks. If you do not have your ROE after 14 days from your last day of work, you must submit proof of employment such as pay stubs;
  • personal identification such as your driver’s licence, birth certificate or passport if you are applying in person;
  • your complete bank information, as shown on your cheque or bank statement or a voided personalized blank cheque from your current account. This will ensure that your payment of benefits will be made directly to your bank account with Direct Deposit;
  • a medical certificate indicating how long your incapacity is expected to last, if you are claiming sickness benefits;
  • the expected or actual date of birth of your child, if you are claiming maternity benefits;
  • your newborn’s date of birth, or, when there is an adoption, your child’s date of placement, if you are claiming parental benefits. In the case of an adoption, you also need to provide the name and full address of the agency handling the adoption;
  • your detailed version of facts if you have quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks;
  • details regarding your most recent employment: Your total salary before deductions, your salary before deductions for your last week of work — from Sunday to your last day worked, gross amounts received or to be received, such as: vacation pay, pension, pay in lieu of notice or lay off and other monies.

The 1-week waiting period

You must serve a 1-week unpaid waiting period before your EI benefit begins to be paid. Generally, this period is the first week of your claim. This is like a deductible for any kind of insurance. On the other hand, if you reopen a claim for benefits in which you have already served a 1-week waiting period, you do not serve another 1-week waiting period.

How long can you receive maternity and parental benefits?

A combination of maternity and parental benefits can be received up to a combined maximum of 52 or 78 weeks.

How much will you receive?

Standard parental benefits: 

The basic EI benefit rate is 55% of your average insured earnings up to a yearly maximum insurable amount of $51,700 (as of January 1, 2018). This means you can receive a maximum payment of $547 per week (new EI maximum benefit as of January 1, 2018(EI formula: maximum gross annual earnings of $51,700 ÷ 52 wks x 55% = $547 per week). Your EI payment is a taxable income, meaning federal and provincial taxes will be deducted.

Extended parental benefits:

Are paid at a weekly benefit rate of 33% of your average weekly insurable earnings, up to a maximum amount. For 2018, this means that you can receive a maximum amount of $328 per week for up to 61 weeks.  (EI formula: maximum gross annual earnings of $51,700 ÷ 52 wks x 33% = $328 per week) (The amount of $328 can be increased if you are eligible to receive the Family Supplement).

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (Aka: Maternity “Top-Up” Benefit)

Note: (1) only Teachers & Principals of the CISVA are eligible for this benefit
(2) this benefit is only available to the biological mother
(3) this benefit is not payable during the period the eligible employee may be receiving post-delivery, Short- term disability benefits (for a 4 or 6 week period)

Eligibility requirements & Benefit Calculations

This benefit is only available to teachers and principals of the CISVA who meet the Employment Insurance Regulations, as it forms part of these employees’ compensation package.  The benefit is provided to assist employees who experience a wage-loss as of the date of birth of her child.  Please note that if the employee is receiving post-delivery, Short-term disability benefits, the top-up benefit is not payable during that 4 or 6 week period.

The benefit requires that each CISVA school provide additional financial support to Teachers and Principals who are on an approved maternity leave by supplementing the standard EI maternity benefit.  The school’s financial support increases the standard EI benefit from 55% (EI rate) to 75% for a period of 6 to 15 weeks according to the information provided by the attending physician on the Maternity Leave Medical Report.

A sample calculation of the SUB formula is as follows:


  • Gross annual salary ÷  52 wks (per EI regulations) = gross weekly earnings
  • Gross weekly earnings x 75% = max. amount that the Teacher/Principal can receive between EI and the school for the 6-15 week period
  • Calculation for gross weekly EI benefit =  gross weekly earnings x 55%, up to a maximum benefit of $547
  • Total SUB paid by school: sum of Item 2 minus (–) sum of Item 3 = payable top-up amount


1. Teacher delivers and experiences wage-loss during said year (Sept. 1 – June 30)
 Regular gross salary: $49,082.00
 Gross weekly salary: $49,082 divided by 52 weeks = $943.88
 75% of gross weekly salary = $707.91
 Gross EI benefit (max is $547) based on $51,700 = $519
 Amount payable as “top-up” per week
(75% Weekly salary – EI benefit)
= $188.91

Please note that this is a taxable benefit; therefore, it will be reflected on your T4 form.  As a result, this benefit is subject to CPP contribution deductions.

This benefit is not payable during the months of July and August as there is no wage-loss during this time.

Registered Pension Plan (RPP)

As required by legislation, pensionable service for a member in the Registered Pension Plan (RPP) of the CISVA will continue to accrue during the approved Maternity leave provided the member indicates in writing that she will continue to make contributions under the plan. Employer contributions to the RPP will also continue during this time.

It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that they are always adhering to any regulations as it pertains to the Canadian Income Tax Act. The most that an individual can contribute to their RPP is the lesser of 18% of “earned income” for the current year, to the Annual Contribution Limit set by Revenue Canada.

For your purposes, generally speaking, earned income includes a taxpayer’s income (earned while the taxpayer was resident in Canada) from the following:

  • income earned from employment reported on a T4 slip (including maternity top-up payments for eligible CISVA employees)

It is important that the employee takes the necessary steps to ensure that she doesn’t over-contribute to the RPP for the applicable tax year.

Contributions are based on the amount of employment income at the date the approved leave begins and are paid in regular monthly payments during the leave. Pension contributions must be completely paid before the leave is completed or the ability to contribute will be lost.

Employees of the CISVA must complete a Maternity Leave Contract and sign-off on the applicable waiver (located on page 2) if the employee wishes to suspended their RPP contributions during their maternity leave.

RPP contributions must be reinstated on the employee’s return to work.

Group Insurance Benefits

During maternity leave, the employee shall be entitled to the following benefits providing (1) she was normally entitled to such benefits and (2) she pays her share of premiums:

  1. Life insurance, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Short-term and Long-term disability
  2. Extended Health, Dental and Critical Illness benefits
  3. Pension
  4. Medical Service Plan (MSP)

The aforementioned benefits shall continue uninterrupted during the period of time the employee is on maternity and/or parental leave provided that the employee makes arrangements prior to commencing the leave to pay their share of the benefit premiums for that.

IMPORTANT: Prior to commencing the leave, the employee must provide their employer with post-dated cheques to cover the costs of their portion of the benefit expenses.

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