Alberta Adoption Leave
August 12, 2013 § 2 Comments
Today I start my “parental leave.” Although the benefits do not start until our little one is actually home, I am relishing in my new unpaid freedoms: Jammies till 10 am, a full-blown breakfast of Eggs Benedict, homegrown strawberries, french pressed coffee out on the deck and—well—a foot-long laundry list of to-do’s before we “get the call.”
Best case scenario: we travel in about a month. Worst case scenario: unknown. Either way, I’ve got a head start to plan and pack and play!“Parental leave can begin at any time after the birth or adoption of the child but it must be completed within 52 weeks of the date a baby is born or an adopted child is placed with the parent.” (Alberta Federation of Labour)
With the Alberta government, you must have worked 52 consecutive weeks at your place of employment before you are eligible to apply for the employment benefits of parental leave. With adoptions, you are entitled to 37 weeks of benefit pay starting when you get home and have notified Service Alberta of the child’s date of placement. If you have worked a mixture of full and part-time hours over the previous year, or have taken leave early like I did, the government of Alberta will calculate your 22 highest paid weeks from the previous year and base your benefits off of that.
So if you are thinking of giving your “2 Weeks Notice”, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Give your employer 6 weeks notice
According to the Employment Standards Code employees must give their employers at least six weeks written notice to start parental leave.“Parents will still be eligible for the parental leave if medical reasons, or circumstances related to the adoption, prevent the employee from giving this notice. When this happens, written notice must be given to the employer as soon as possible.”
Keep a copy of this letter or email.
2. Obtain your ROE or have your Employer send it to CRA directly
3. Wait for The Call
The Service Canada site says that “you should apply as soon as you stop working,” but I’ve confirmed over the phone with a representative that for adoptive parents, you do not apply until you have returned home with the child. You will need a “date of placement” in order to fill out the application form.
File the forms online and soon start to receive up to 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings.
For more information about Employment Insurance call Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. (Good luck getting through!)
Waiting & Hopeful,