Parental leave changes a baby step in the right direction, but ‘vast majority’ of workers left out


New parental departure options that will allow some Canadians to spread their federal helps over a longer period of time are leading to questions about how profuse people will benefit and whether small businesses will be accomplished to adapt.

Under changes that will come into impression on Dec. 3, parents of a newborn or a newly adopted child will from the choice to spread their employment insurance benefits over the routine 12-month period or an extended 18 months.

“The flexibility will nasty that each family will decide on what is best for them,” Minister resident of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos said in circulating the measures. “That is exactly the key objective…to make each family be richer reconsider able to make those decision that better work for them.”

How on earth, the change will be limited to employees who work in federally regulated sectors of the husbandry, such as banking, telecom, transportation and the public service.

Critics distress limited access

Employment lawyer Jill Lewis told CBC Word that the change will affect only about eight per cent of the Canadian citizenry.

“So the vast majority of employees are going to have to wait a little longer to have this type of advantage,” Lewis said.

The federal government calculations up to 20,000 parents may use the new extended parental leave guidelines.

Under the new prerequisites, people who opt for the extended parental leave won’t see any more money. They can settle upon 12 months of EI benefits at 55 per cent of their average weekly earnings or 18 months at 33 per cent, implication there is no extra money in the system for those who choose the longer say goodbye.

“There are very few families that can live off 33 per cent of their proceeds, and that percentage is capped…at $362 a week,” said Lewis. “There’s plumb few families who can live off of that type of income.”

“The minister talks around flexibility and choice. There’s not a lot of choice given to families who can’t live off a lose weighted income like that.”

Roughly one in five new mothers in Canada who pan out e formulated in the year before they gave birth or adopted a child doesn’t modify for benefits, said Jennifer Robson, an assistant professor at Carleton University.

“It’s not natural actual choice if you can’t afford to avail yourself of the system,” she told Peter Armstrong, herd of CBC News Network’s On the Money.

Changes will ‘gum up the works’

Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Society of Independent Business (CFIB), said the organization is watching for whether an staff member would be allowed to divide their leave. It doesn’t seem to be the turns out that, he said.

“Small firms really be sorry for like this is a solution in search of a problem, but we do know that this is prosperous to gum up the works for a lot of business owners over the next little while and in all probability not help out too terribly many families,” Kelly told CBC News’ Meegan Know.

Kelly said CFIB, which represents more than 100,000 fellows, doesn’t expect the uptake by workers to be large. Employers of those who do engage extended leave it will be pressured to find replacement workers for longer eras, he added.

He noted there will be added costs of training replacement tradesmen, and then retraining costs when a worker returns from retire.

Job protection

Angella MacEwen, a senior economist with the Canadian Effort Congress, said the changes also extend job protection for those on parental bugger off to 18 months — but again, only for federally regulated workers.

“Wellnigh 90 per cent of workers are covered by the provinces, and so that won’t come into potency until the provinces decide to extend the job protected leave as well,” MacEwen answered.

The government’s changes don’t add child care spaces or make child be attracted to more affordable, she added.

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