Maternity and Parental Leave

Contact: Local President, Don Peterson,

Welcome to the Saanich Teachers’ Association’s Maternity and Parental Leave and Benefits webpage!

At the STA, we recognize the importance of supporting our valued members throughout their journey into parenthood. We understand that this transformative chapter requires comprehensive policies and benefits to ensure a smooth and fulfilling transition. The STA is here to help you understand the full scope of these policies and benefits along the way.

Here, you will find a wealth of information regarding maternity and parental leave policies, benefits, and resources designed to assist and guide our members through this remarkable phase of life.

The STA president typically holds bi-yearly workshops on maternity/parental leaves. These will be announced in the STA-In-Touch newsletter, as well as on the STA Website Calendar.

Teacher Resources:


What is Maternity Leave?

  • Maternity Leave is a type of medical leave that is available to support pregnant individuals recover from childbirth.

What is Parental Leave?

  • Parental Leave is a type of paid leave to support parents of newly born or adopted babies.

When do I have to give notice to the employer of my maternity leave? How do I apply?

  • Employment Insurance:
  • Supplemental Employment benefit (SEB – aka top up from the employer during Maternity Leave):
    • You can apply to the employer as soon as you know your due date.
    • Apply using the Leave of Absence request form, located on the ESS “My Dashboard”. You will need to include a doctor’s note with the estimated due date.
    • Please note, you can declare your pregnancy leave and parental leave separately.

How long is Maternity/Parental Leave?

  • Maternity Leave – up to 17 weeks of unpaid leave.
    • During the first week you will receive 100% of your current salary from the employer.
      During the following 15 weeks you will go on Employment Insurance (EI) and receive a salary top up from the employer (supplemental employment benefits – SEB) to 100% of your regular salary.
  • Parental Leave (inclusive of Adoption Leave)
    • Standard parental leave is 35 weeks. Extended parental leave is up to 61 weeks. Note that the amount of pay you receive is the same – if your leave is longer, your pay is more spread out.
    • Also note, that once you start receiving parental leave, you cannot change the option you’ve chosen.

When is the earliest I can go on maternity leave?

  • You can begin maternity leave once the child is born.
  • Should you have health complications as a result of your pregnancy prior to giving birth, you should contact the school district about going on medical pregnancy leave ahead of maternity leave (up to 13 weeks prior to the due date).

What is the number of hours required to qualify for Employee Insurance (EI) while on parental leave?

  • 600 hours of work from the previous year.

What is the supplemental employment benefit (SEB)?

  • Teachers on maternity leave that meet the EI eligibility requirements and have continuing or temporary status will have their salary topped up to 100% for the 16 weeks
  • If you work in a temporary assignment that does not meet or exceed that length of 16 weeks, your top-up will continue until the end date of your temporary assignment.

What are the eligibility requirements to access the SEB plan in Saanich?

  • Answer Coming Soon

Do I pay income tax while on EI?

  • Yes
  • Please keep in mind that the Employer will deduct income tax based on the income you receive from the Employer. Service Canada will deduct income tax based on the income you receive from Service Canada. Keep in mind that when the top-up and EI benefits are combined, it will likely put you in a higher income tax bracket resulting in possibly owing taxes after you file opposed to getting a tax return. You may want to put some additional funds aside to account for this.

Are you able to collect the SEB if you are not collecting EI?

  • If you are not on EI, you will be able to collect 1 week of SEB for the maternity leave, and 2 weeks of SEB for parental leave.

What is my pay when I am on leave?

  • Your pay while on the leave will be reduced to what you receive for top-up and EI.

Do I continue to accrue seniority while on maternity/parental leave?

  • Yes, for up to two years

Do I continue to get credit for an increment on the pay scale while on maternity/parental leave?

  • Yes

Can I buy back my pension while I’m on leave?

  • Yes, you will need to contact the the Teachers Pension Plan at 1-800-665-6770 to start the process.
  • You should start the process of buying back your pension as soon as possible. The cost of the buy back increases each time your pay increases. If you pay increases as you go up the steps of the grid, and when teachers receive a general pay increase.

Will I continue to receive BlueCross benefits while on leave?

  • The employer will continue to pay into their share of the benefits. Please keep in mind that once you are no longer receiving top-up, you will not be getting income from the Employer for them to deduct your share of the benefits. From this point on, if you wish to remain on the benefits plan, you will need to pay your share directly to the Employer on a monthly basis.