Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The official extension of the daddy days

My husband Peter was due back to work yesterday!   The 5 weeks he was scheduled to have off with Rory to round out our paternity leave flew by for all of us.

I don’t remember when it happened, but a couple of weeks ago I came home from work and the two of them were playing around in the yard together enjoying what was left of the sun for the day.  It broke my heart a bit to think of Rory in daycare, and Peter back at work just when the weather was becoming so unbelievably beautiful.  So I mentioned to Peter that I was wondering if somehow we could swing him taking another month off?  His eyes lit up at the suggestion.  So over the next week we tried our hardest to make it happen.

So a couple of things we learned... There are actually two different portions to leave in Canada. Parental and pregnancy leave (that is time off from work), and parental and maternity benefits (which is receiving payments from Employment Insurance).

So for benefits (receiving payments), 35 weeks of paid coverage is offered by the government of Canada, and those 35 weeks can be split between the parents.


For leave (time off and benefits) in Ontario:  The mother is entitled to 17 weeks of pregnancy leave (with 2 week waiting period), and subsequent both parents are entitled to an additional 35 weeks of parental leave (leave only).


It’s the BOTH parents being entitled to 35 weeks of parental leave we were confused about?!  Dad can take 35 weeks off after mom has been off, as long as it begins BEFORE your child's first birthday.

So once we realized this, everything else just sort of fell into place.  Peter's work was wonderful about the change and even our daycare was fantastic about delaying Rory’s start date. 

So these two get to continue the great time they have been having, and I can’t tell you how awesome that is for the whole family.  This daddy time has been incredibly important and awesome.

It's worth looking into... If you can afford the time and the lack of pay cheque for a few extra weeks.


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