Maternity/Parental Leave and Layoffs

A USW Guide as of April 6, 2020

Because new announcements are being made every day during this pandemic, this information may change as support programs evolve. Check the USW website regularly: usw.ca/covid19.

At the end of your EI special benefits for maternity or parental leave, you would apply for CERB (see “How to Apply” below).

  1. If you are not laid off from work and are planning to start maternity or parental leave on or before Oct. 3:
    You apply for EI special benefits in the usual way (see “How to Apply” below).
  2. If you are laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic and are planning to start maternity or parental leave on or before Oct. 3:
    Although the federal government hasn’t yet issued a statement about this situation, all indications are that you are eligible for the new Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

How to Apply for CERB:

The application form is available through a Government of Canada web portal as of April 6. You can apply in one of these ways:

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This is a new benefit designed to cover workers who have lost their job, people who are sick or quarantined, parents who must stay home without pay to care for children and workers who have no income due to the COVID-19 slowdown, but who haven’t yet been officially laid off. It will cover employees, contract workers and self-employed workers. To qualify, applicants must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day they apply.

CERB will pay out $2,000 per month (taxable) for 16 weeks, backdated to March 15, 2020.

Details and information are changing regularly. Regularly check the USW website COVID page at: usw.ca/covid19