Quebec Bill 174 amends rules for maternity, parental and paternity leaves
On March 20, 2018, the Quebec Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity has introduced Bill 174, An Act mainly to relax the parental insurance plan in order to promote better family-work balance. The proposed changes will amend the Labour Standards Act to extend the period within which maternity, paternity, parental or adoption benefits can be paid, as well as extending the maximum period of maternity leave to 25 weeks.
Among other things, Bill 174 proposes to amend the Labour Standards Act as follows:
- The maximum period of maternity leave will increase from 18 consecutive weeks to 25 consecutive weeks.
- The latest end date for parental leave will be extended from 70 weeks after the birth or adoption to 104 weeks after the birth or adoption. The maximum period of parental leave for the first parent will remain at 52 weeks.
- The latest end date for paternity leave will be extended from 52 weeks after the week of the birth or adoption to 104 weeks after the week of the birth or adoption. The maximum period of paternity leave will remain at 5 weeks.
During these types of leaves, a Quebec employee’s participation in group insurance and pension plans may not be affected by his or her absence from work, subject to regular payment of the employee’s contributions under those plans. This means that employers will also have to contribute to those plans for a potential additional 7 weeks of maternity leave in respect of Quebec employees if the employee decides to pay her own contributions.