Paternity Leave and moving to the US, (Ontario)

We are expecting our first child quite soon. Due to circumstances my wife will not be taking any Maternity leave, only Pregnancy leave, and not even all of that. I am aware that the 17 weeks of Pregnancy leave can only be used by the mother. This will leave me taking the 35 or 37 (its unclear which) of Paternity leave that we are entitled to in Ontario.

However, during this 35/7 week period we will be moving, for a period of 1 year, to the US. My reading of the various websites seems to suggest that it is ok to go to the US during Paternity leave, but it does not mention actually living in the US. Does anyone know if I would still be eligible to receive these payments while we live the in the US?

To my thinking, I should be. I qualify in every way, our moving to the US is just temporary, and under no circumstances would we be staying in the US for longer than we have to, however it is a necessary step in my wife’s education. However my thinking and governmental thinking do not necessarily coincide.

I have no idea what is legal/customary in Canada, but in the USA, maternity and paternity leave are unpaid.

I’ll be a bit more specific: In the US, Federal law requires (in many but not all cases) that your employer has to let you take a certain amount of time off for maternity/paternity, but in NO case (as far as I know) does the law require your employer to pay you for this time. If anyone does get paid, it is because the employer counts it as vacation time and/or as sick time and/or is unusually generous in other ways.

I take it, though, that hussle will continue to be employed by his current Canadian employer while he is living in the US?

Yes. for all intents and purposes I will still be employed by my current Canadian employer. The Parental leave system goes through the employment insurance system here, run by the federal government, but each province has their own rules about parental leave.

I have tried to speak to someone, but they were not very much help. I will, if I must, go to a service ontario office, I would just like to go armed with some knowledge.

Have you talked to your HR department about this?

I suspect that the general answer would be that you would be subject to the laws of the jurisdiction that you would be working in (plus whatever company policy says).

I have not talked to my HR department about this, as it has very little to do with them. Parental leave is a government program, and therefore has very little to do with the individual company…as far as I understand it at least. The laws that would apply I would think would be Ontario, as the program is run, and paid by, the provincial government.

A good HR department, however, will be versed in such government laws and programs and give you decent information on how they affect you in unusual circumstances like this.

Whether you have a good HR department I can’t say.

“Good” is not the 1st descriptor that comes to mind when I think of the HR department

Have you tried calling or emailing your MPP? Typically a staffer at the office would pick this up and run with it for you.

It sounds like you already looked on the government website, but here are the specific instructions to follow:

hussle, I think you’re confusing different things here.

First, there’s your EI entitlement to parental leave. That’s governed solely by federal law, and is paid for by the federal EI program, not by the province. Whether you are eligible to collect while in the States will depend on Canadian federal law. The Service Canada website which Leaffan linked to will be a good place to start.

Second, there’s your right to return to your job at the end of your parental leave. That’s a matter of provincial law, under labour standards. So far as I know, all provinces now say the employer has to maintain your position for up to a year, matching EI eligibility. Your HR dept should be able to advise on that, but failing them, you could try Service Ontario.

Third, there’s the question of top-up of benefits. EI is capped at a certain amount, same for all regardless of their actual salary. However, many larger employers will top-up the EI benefits to bring you close to your actual salary. For instance, when I took paternity leave, my employer topped me up so that between EI and the top-up, I got 90% of my salary. However, in my province, that was purely voluntary, as an employment benefit. The employer doesn’t have to provide a top-up, and it’s not a provincially funded program. Maybe it’s different in Ontario - I don’t know how it works there.

Congrats on the new arrival, and good luck!

Well not exactly, there just isn’t a federal law, although the number of states supporting it is embarrassingly low. It looks like if I am reading correctly, 7 states pay for either maternity leave or maternity-as-medical-leave, and 3 more have it for public employees. And 2 maybe 3 have paternity leave paid. CA and NJ are the best in this respect.

Thank you for all of the responses. It looks like I will have to actually go to talk to someone to find out completely. I will report back when I find time to do this in case anyone else searches this. Thanks again

How do you get ma/paternity leave?
When I collected real UIC during a layoff many many years ago, the catch was that you had to be available for work and you had to sign a card saying so every 2 weeks and mail it back to get your next cheque. Mail too early or too late based on postmark, and the nastycrats deemed that you must have been unavailable. (If you mailed it on Thursday, you could not have possibly known if you were available for Friday. If it went into next week, why weren’t you available to mail your card on time?)

(One fellow left town to go to his mother’s funeral; UIC thoughtfully docked him for those travel days, as he was not available for work.)

So if you have to sign a card every 2 weeks stating you are astill on leave, then you have to advise them of an immediate mailing address so they can keep sending you cards. Hence the “let us know” warning, i presume.

Not sure if this process has been updated for the modern age.

Last couple I knew that did paternity leave, she came back to work as soon as she could. The UIC insured limit is currently $45,000 and payout if you are at the max is 55% of that. IIRC that worked out to about $450 a week. Someone with an $80,000pa lifestyle really can’t live on that. (I wonder why birth rates are falling in developed countries).

The 35 weeks/37 weeks? I think the first tw qualify weeks are unpaid. (At least, that’s how layoffs work). You have to go through those first two week before you get paid - your first $900 for two weeks after a month of no paycheques.

When I was on paternity leave I didn’t have to send in regular status reports to EI, since I wasn’t looking for work. I just had to give them the day I started paternity leave, my projected return date, and a promise that I would let them know if I went back to work early.

And as far as reporting is concerned for EI, in Ontario at least, it’s all on-line now. No more mailing of hard copies.

I wonder if they track what region your IP address is from? :slight_smile: