Changes are coming for employment insurance and leave allocations for some Canadian employees later this fall.

The leave changes, which received royal assent in June, affect the part of the Canada Labour Code that includes employees in the banking, telecommunications and transportation industries, as well as Crown corporations and some workers on First Nations reserves. The changes to employment insurance when it comes to maternity and parental benefits won’t affect employees in Quebec, as provincial programs take precedent in that province.

Read: Budget boosts parental leave to 18 months, introduces caregiving benefit

The most notable change is that employees can begin receiving employment insurance maternity benefits as early as 12 weeks before their due date, up from eight weeks under the former rules, according to a bulletin from Employment and Social Development Canada.

Other changes include new options under parental benefits, with recipients able to choose to either receive benefits spread over 18 months or over a year. The existing duration of up to 35 weeks at 55 per cent of average weekly earnings will remain an option, with the addition of the choice to take extended benefits for up to 61 weeks at 33 per cent, the bulletin noted.

Other changes to the Canada Labour Code include the provision of up to 63 weeks of unpaid parental leave and up to 78 weeks of combined maternity and parental leaves.

Read: How will 18-month parental leave affect top-up programs?

Caregivers helping a critically ill or injured adult family member will see an added benefit as well. One of the changes provides employment insurance benefits for up to 15 weeks for those deemed eligible. The Canada Labour Code will also provide corresponding unpaid leave for up to 17 weeks, according to the bulletin.

Employment insurance benefits for those helping tend to a critically ill child will also change, with eligibility now open to any member of the family, rather than just parents alone.

The government hasn’t revealed the exact date the changes will come into effect, but the bulletin notes that’s likely to happen by late 2017.

Copyright © 2022 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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