Maternity Leave and Parental Leave

Under Manitoba’s Employment Standards Code, employees have the right to certain job-protected leaves of absence. The ESC ensures workers can take time off and return to their job without concern. This includes long-term leaves of absence such as maternity leave and parental leave.

Managing leave is key to every employer’s success. If you don’t meet your duties you leave yourself open to claims, lost productivity, and more. If you need any help managing leave, get in touch with Employer Line’s experts for free advice.

Employer Duties for Maternity Leave and Parental Leave

Employers must provide time off for maternity leave and/or parental leave as set out in the Employment Standards Code

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is an unpaid, job-protected leave for pregnant employees to take time off for the birth of their child. Expecting mothers have the right to take up to 17 consecutive weeks of leave. This can start their leave as early as 17 weeks before the due date.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is an unpaid, job-protected leave for birth and adoptive parents to take up to 62 weeks off for the birth or adoption of a child. Employees who qualify for parental leave include:

  • Birth mothers (immediately following maternity leave)
  • The other parent
  • Adoptive parents
  • Both parents shared between them

The start of parental leave can begin any time after the birth or adoption of a child. However, it must be completed within 63 weeks of the birth or adoption date. It must also be taken in one continuous period.

Workers who have taken maternity leave and also want to take parental leave must do so right after the maternity leave. The only exception is if the employer agrees to a different arrangement.

Notice Requirement

Employees must provide written notice at least 4 weeks before taking maternity or parental leave. While a return date is not required in the notice, employees are expected to give at least 2 weeks’ notice of their return to work date.

As an employer, you may request, in writing, that your employee start maternity leave earlier. This is in cases where the pregnancy is interfering with job performance before the due date.

Need help with maternity or parental leave? 

If you’re unsure about your duty to provide maternity leave, parental leave, or any other leaves of absence, call Employer Line. Our team of experts is here to answer any questions you have and ensure you are staying compliant.

Get in touch with our HR experts for free employer advice at 1 (888) 219-8767.