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Conservatives Announce New Maternity And Parental Leave Benefits 

Toronto – Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced new work and income benefits for moms and dads having a baby. A re-elected Conservative government will provide up to 18 months of job protection for new parents and the option to stretch Employment Insurance (EI) benefits over 18 months. The Prime Minister also announced that women receiving maternity benefits and parents receiving parental benefits would be able to earn additional employment and self-employment income while receiving EI benefits.

Under a re-elected Conservative government, the four-part package announced today would achieve the following:

  • The federal labour code will be amended to provide job protection for new parents until their babies have reached the age of 18 months.
  • Parents can opt to receive EI parental benefits at the full rate for up to 35 weeks, or they can extend those payments at a lesser rate up to a maximum of 61 weeks. When combined with other EI maternity leave, this means parents will be able to receive a stream of income until their babies are 18 months old.
  • A new two-year pilot project will be established to allow parents to earn self-employment income, without impacting their EI maternity or parental benefits, up to 100% of the weekly EI maximum insurable earnings threshold.
  • Women receiving EI maternity benefits will also be able to earn employment income under the Working While on Claim pilot project. This is currently only permitted for those receiving EI parental benefits.

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