Congratulations on welcoming a new addition to your family! We understand that expecting a new child is both an exciting and anxious time in anyone's life, so PARO is committed to helping ease some of that stress, by providing you with some quick and easy facts about all you need to know about pregnancy and parental leave benefits.

Pregnancy and Parental benefit information can be found under Article 11.5, 14.1, and 15 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement. As well, information about your Employment Insurance benefit entitlements can be found on the Service Canada website at

Qualifying for Pregnancy and Parental Benefits
  • Pregnancy and parental benefits are government issued benefits (employment insurance) provided to individuals who are eligible
  • Service Canada requires a person to have accumulated 600 insurable hours in the last fifty-two (52) weeks since his/her last claim, in order to qualify to receive employment insurance benefits
  • Attachment 11 "Employment Insurance Hours of Work," of the PARO-CAHO Agreement provides that you are entitled to be credited with your actual hours of worked, rather than any hours recorded for payroll or other administrative purposes
  • Note: Even if you do not qualify for EI benefits, you are still legally entitled to unpaid job protected time off under the Employment Standards Act, for the same length in duration as pregnancy and parental benefits
What is The Hospital's Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan?
  • The PARO-CAHO Agreement provides residents who are on either pregnancy or parental leave and are in receipt of EI benefits a supplemental income top-up (Article 15.7 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement)
  • This benefit is provided for a maximum of 25 weeks in duration
  • The benefit will be equivalent to the difference between seventy-five percent (75%) of the resident's regular weekly earnings and the sum of the resident's weekly EI benefits and any other earnings
  • Note For PGY1 Only: To qualify for the income supplemental top-up from the PARO-CAHO Agreement, residents must have worked thirteen (13) weeks of continuous service  (Please see Article 15.7 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement)

How do I apply for Benefits? What Documents do I Need?
  • Applications for benefits can be made online at Benefit Online Application or in person at any Service Canada Centre Service Canada Centre Locator
  • You will need the following documents when applying:
o Social Insurance Number (SIN)
o Record of Employment (ROE) which is provided by your payroll centre
o Personal Identification such as a drivers licence, birth certificate, passport
o Your complete bank information
o The expected or actual date of birth of your child, if you are claiming pregnancy benefits
o Your newborn's date of birth, or, when there is an adoption, your child's date of placement, if you are claiming parental benefits. In the case of an adoption, you also need to provide the name and full address of the agency handling the adoption

For a complete list of all required documents, please visit Service Canada's website at

When Will I Receive My First Payment?
  • The Service Canada website states that "if we have all the required information and if you qualify for benefits, your payment will be issued usually within 28 days from the date of filing your claim. If you do not qualify, Service Canada will notify you of the decision made on your claim."
  • You must serve a 2-week unpaid waiting period before your Employment Insurance and the Hospital's SUB benefits begin to be paid
What is the Difference Between Pregnancy and Parental Benefits?

Type of Benefit
Length of Benefit
When can the Benefit Begin?
Who is Eligible for the Benefit?
Pregnancy Benefit
17 weeks
Up to 8 weeks before the expected delivery date
Can be collected within 17 weeks of actual or expected week of child's birth
Birth mother or surrogate mother
Parental Benefits
35 weeks

Note: PARO-CAHO Agreement grants
37 weeks leave if you did not take pregnancy leave (i.e. Adoptive parents, fathers, or non-birth mothers)
Payable no later than 52 weeks after the child's birth

For adoptive parents, fathers, or non-birth mothers, payable no later than 52 weeks after the child is in your immediate care, custody or control for the first time
New parents (note that the Employment Standards Act defines "parent" as birth parent, adopting parent, or person in a relationship with a parent of a child and plans to treat the child as their own)

  • Note that for biological mothers, Employment Insurance benefits and the Hospital's SUB benefits, allows for a combined paid leave of 50 weeks, inclusive of parental and pregnancy benefits

How Much Notice Should I Give My Program?
  • Under Articles 15.1 and 15.2 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement residents must give four (4) weeks written notice of their intended timing of their pregnancy and/or parental leave, in order to ensure that professional and patient care responsibilities are met. We advise residents however, that the earlier your program is informed of your leave, the better it will be for all parties involved.
Your Rights: Working While Expecting
  • Attachment 3 - Workload During Pregnancy of the PARO-CAHO Agreement states that "in no event will a resident be scheduled or required to participate in on call duty after thirty-one (31) weeks gestation unless otherwise agreed to by the resident"
o As well, you have the right to have your "workload modified somewhat because of the physical limitations caused by pregnancy to enable you to continue training with minimal interruption" (Attachment 3)
o If you are experiencing particular difficulties with your pregnancy, your program may also be required to provide you with further reasonable accommodation.

Do My Benefits Continue on Pregnancy and/or Parental Leave?
  • Yes, as per Article 14.1 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement, all benefits continue to apply while on leave

What Happens to my Vacation and Professional Leave Days?
  • As set out in Article 11.5 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement, while on pregnancy/parental leave, you are entitled to vacation as follows:
  • Residents who take pregnancy and parental leave (e.g. biological mothers) accumulate vacation for the entire length of their leave, up to 52 weeks
  • Residents who take parental leave (e.g. parents, including adoptive parents, fathers, and non-birth mothers) are entitled to take up to 37 weeks of parental leave, and accumulate vacation for up to 37 weeks. If a parent takes more than 37 weeks, vacation will be pro-rated for the additional period of the leave.
  • Normally, unused vacation may not be carried over into the following appointment year. However, if you are on pregnancy or parental leave at the end of one appointment year and the start of another, any unused vacation prior to going on leave, and accumulated vacation while on leave, can be carried over to the new appointment year and taken immediately following the end of your leave, i.e. before your return to work. It may also be taken at a later time mutually agreed upon between you and your program and/or preceptor.
  • If you are required to undertake additional services at the end of your program to make up for time missed while on pregnancy or parental leave, your vacation entitlement will be pro-rated or the length of the additional service.
  • You do not accumulate professional leave days while on leave and unused professional leave days expire at the end of each appointment year. However, you will be entitled to seven (7) days of professional leave in the next appointment year, as per Article 12.1 of the PARO-CAHO agreement.
Do I Have to Make up The Time I Missed While on Leave?
  • Both the RCPSC and CFPC have policies allowing residents who take pregnancy or parental leave to be granted a "Waiver of Training" up to a maximum length of time depending on the length of your training program. Waivers, when they are granted, are not granted until the final year of training.
  • The decision to grant a waiver of training is at the discretion of the specific program director and/or university. Some Ontario Universities (currently Ottawa and Queen's) have stated that no residents will be granted a waiver of training.
  • We advise you to contact your program directly to determine if you might be granted such a waiver of training.
Important Contact Information

CMPA: 1-800-267-6522
They will stop automatic payments while you are on maternity leave. It is as simple as calling them and telling them the dates you will be on leave. They will send a letter to confirm these dates. If there are any changes, just call to inform them. Automatic payments will restart once you return to work.

OMA/CMA: 1-800-267-7215 x 2987
No refunds are given on dues for residents while on pregnancy/parental leave as you continue to be a member with benefits.

CPSO: 1-800-268-7096
Your department must send a letter to CPSO informing them of the leave dates. You must still pay the full fee while you are off on leave as there are no pro-rated fees. You will remain registered with the CPSO while you are on leave.

Service Canada: 1-800-206-7218 
A Service Canada representative can help answer any questions you have relating to applying, receiving, and documenting your Employment Insurance benefits.

Payroll & Benefit Contact Information

613-562-5800 x 1656
613-549-6666 x 2365
519-685-8500 x 32554

PARO: 1-877-979-1183 or email

Please feel free to contact the PARO office with any questions you have relating to pregnancy and parental leave. One of our very knowledgeable staff members will be more than willing to help answer any questions you may have.


Copyright PARO 2015