Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leave

This directive describes the conditions under which managers or opted out or excluded employees qualify for maternity, parental or adoption leave, the duration and starting date of the leave, benefit coverage during the leave, entitlement to illness benefits before and during the leave, and what happens when they return to work.

Entitlements for bargaining unit employees are contained in the Collective Agreement.

Conditions for Leave

An employee will be granted leave without pay if:

  • the employee gives at least two weeks of notice; and

  • the employee has worked at least one complete year as of the date of confinement, or as of receipt of the child in the case of adoption; and

  • an employee who is in a temporary position will continue in the position following the leave.

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Duration of Leave

Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee shall be granted up to fifty-two (52) weeks of leave without pay which includes a combined total of not more than fifteen (15) weeks maternity leave and thirty-seven (37) consecutive weeks of parental leave immediately following the last day of her maternity leave.

A pregnant employee should apply for maternity leave as soon as possible prior to her expected date of delivery, but in any case shall give the employing department at least two (2) weeks notice in writing of the date on which she intends to commence leave.

Adoption Leave

An employee who has adopted a child is entitled to a leave of absence without pay of up to 37 consecutive weeks within 52 weeks of the child being placed with the employee.

Parental Leave

A female employee is entitled to up to 37 consecutive weeks of leave of absence without pay in conjunction with her maternity leave, which shall not exceed a combined total of 52 weeks.

A male employee is entitled to a leave of absence without pay of up to 37 consecutive weeks within 52 weeks of the birth of his child.

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Starting Date

The department will approve the date the maternity, parental or adoption leave begins, unless an employee:

  • presents a medical certificate from the employee’s doctor advising not to continue working, in which case the leave begins from that date

  • asks for leave to conform to Employment Insurance benefits regulations

The department will not set a date that is earlier than 12 weeks before the expected date of delivery unless the employee requests an earlier date.

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Benefit Coverage

If an employee is participating in the following benefit plans at the beginning of the maternity, parental or adoption leave, the employee will continue to be covered under these plans and will continue to pay the employee’s portion of the applicable premium costs:

  • Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan

  • Group Extended Medical Benefits Plan

  • Group Dental Plan

  • Group Life Insurance Plan

  • Prescription Drug Plan

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Illness Benefits

If an employee is absent for pregnancy-related health reasons at any time during the pregnancy, the employee is eligible for illness leave when satisfactory proof of illness is presented.

Supplemental Unemployment Benefits Plan – The Public Service Commissioner may establish a supplemental unemployment benefits plan for employees who must begin a leave for pregnancy-related health reasons.

A pregnant employee may qualify for a Supplemental Unemployment Insurance Benefit (S.U.B.) covering the period she is medically unable to do her job following the date of commencement of a maternity leave or the date of delivery, whichever comes first.

The employee must provide satisfactory proof of illness and proof of receipt of Employment Insurance benefits.

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Returning to Work

When an employee returns from a maternity, parental or adoption leave, the employee will be returned to the employee’s former position or a comparable position in the same department, at a comparable salary.

If an employee has worked a full year and resigns due to maternity, parental or adoption reasons, then returns in any capacity within six months from the date of resignation, the employee will be considered to have been on a leave without pay for the purpose of determining sick leave entitlement.  The employee will earn vacation leave in the same manner as a new employee.

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About this Directive

Authority:   Public Service Employment Regulation
Application:   Organizations Under the Public Service Act
Effective Date:   1 October 2002
Contact:   Labour Relations

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