Human Resources

Human Resources

Human Resources

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Unsupported Maternity Leave


In accordance with the Employment Standards Act, an employee who has accrued at least thirteen (13) weeks of continuous service preceding her expected date of delivery is entitled to unsupported maternity leave.


Upon written request to the department head or his/her designate, an unsupported maternity leave of up to seventeen (17) weeks duration shall be granted to the employee.

An employee may begin her unsupported maternity leave up to seventeen (17) weeks prior to the expected date of delivery.

Any period of leave beyond this seventeen (17) weeks is also unsupported and falls under the provisions of Unsupported Parental Leave or Leave of Absence Without Pay.

During the maternity leave the University will continue the employee on full purchased benefits if the employee so chooses. The employee is required to pay her share of the costs of the benefit plans in which she is enrolled during the full term of the leave. Direct debit authorization will be required from the employee to cover the cost of the employee's portion of the benefit premium. The employee is informed of these costs during a meeting with her Compensation Assistant within Human Resources. Although she does not have to decide which benefits to maintain at this meeting, the employee should make this decision as soon as possible.

Both service credit and vacation entitlement continue to accrue while the employee is on maternity leave. Upon return to work the employee will be entitled to the same amount of vacation days as if she had worked. With the permission of the department head, this time may be added on to the end of the maternity leave. Service and vacation entitlement however, will be prorated by the amount of additional time an employee may be granted under the Leave of Absence Without Pay policy outside of any entitlement under maternity and parental leaves.

Unusual pregnancy or birth situations may occur where the normal application of this policy may be inappropriate. Such special cases should be reviewed with a member of the Employee Relations Unit within Human Resources.

An employee who wishes to change the date of her return to work must give the department head or his/her designate at least four (4) weeks notice before the date she wishes to end the leave.

Upon return to work the employee is to return to her previous position and salary. If that position no longer exists, the employee will be placed in a comparable position in the same salary grade without loss of salary.

An employee who does not meet the eligibility requirements for an unsupported maternity leave may still meet the criteria for a Leave of Absence Without Pay.

Eligible employees for unsupported maternity leave may also be eligible for E.I. benefits. Employees should contact a Service Canada representative prior to going on leave to discuss qualifying, applying and receiving E.I. benefits.

To avoid delays in qualifying for E.I. benefits, the employee should obtain her Record of Employment from her Compensation Assistant in Human Resources on her last working day before the leave and should present it as soon as possible at the Service Canada Office.

Employee Procedures

An employee shall provide her department head or his/her designate, with as much advance notice as possible of the anticipated date of delivery and discuss her future plans with respect to her employment at, and commitment to the University.

At least one month in advance of delivery, the employee should make written application to the department head or his/her designate, for maternity leave. Written notice should include the following information:

  1. The date the leave is to commence.
  2. The expected date of return to work.

The employee should then contact her Compensation Assistant in Human Resources to arrange an appointment to discuss the continuation of purchased benefits during the maternity leave.

Departmental Administrative Procedures

Provided that the discussion with the department head or his/her designate has taken place as outlined in the Employee Procedures, the Department shall obtain a Leave Request form. Upon completion, the form should be remitted to the employee's Compensation Assistant within Human Resources one month prior to the expected date of delivery. Once the documentation is received regarding maternity leave, a copy of the completed Request for Family Leave or Leave of Absence form should be sent to the employee for her records along with a memo outlining the necessary measures required to make the administration of the leave as smooth as possible.

Upon an employee's return from leave, the Department will send a memorandum to the employee's Compensation Assistant within Human Resources confirming the date of the employee's return to work.

Questions? Contact the Employee Relations Unit within Human Resources.