Sickness benefits and parental leave
Under the Helping Families in Need Act, EI benefits will be provided for up to 35 weeks to parents should their children become critically ill or injured. As well, parents’ jobs would remain legally protected while they take a leave of absence to care for an ill or injured child.
The legislation also includes provisions for employees who become ill while off on parental leave. In such a situation, parents would be able to collect up to 15 weeks of sick benefits. They can choose to either pause their parental leave to take their sickness leave, or take the sickness leave once their parental leave is up.
Lastly, legislation now also provides for parents of children who have gone missing or have been murdered. Effective January 1, 2013, parents would be eligible for $350 per week for up to 35 weeks, provided they have left their jobs. If a missing child is found, the grant would continue for two weeks after the discovery.