Docstoc

paternity leave canada

Document Sample
paternity leave canada Powered By Docstoc
					UNIVERSITY OF YORK
Social Policy Research Unit

COMPARISON OF CHILD BENEFIT PACKAGES IN 22
COUNTRIES

National Informants Questionnaire




                ANSWERS FOR CANADA

                      Completed by
                    Michael Mendelson
               Caledon Institute of Social Policy

                          27 July 01




                              1
PART A

Section 1: Demographics

For this section, please use the following definition of lone parent: “ a mother or a
father living without a spouse (and not cohabiting) with his or her never-married
dependent child or children aged either under 16 or from 16 to (under) 19 and
undertaking full time education)” (Department of Social Security).

       Canada: Regretfully, it is not possible to work with this definition as „lone parent‟ in
       Canada‟s statistical data is defined simply as a single parent with a child at home, of
       whatever age. However, as becomes clear in the following questionnaire, this is not
       as problematic as it may at first seem.



1.     What is the total population of your country?

       Canada: 31,050,711 (Date: 1 July 2001; Source: Statistics Canada, Population
       Projections for Provinces and Territories, 1999 Note: This is a post-censal estimate
       of future population. This data is based on the 1996 Census and is a projection made
       in 1999 of population on 1 July 2001 .)

2.     How many children are there under the age of 16?

       Canada: 6,249,892 (Source: as in 1 above)

3.     What number of children are there aged:

             0-4
       Canada: 1,716,051 (Source: as in 1 above)

             5-15
       Canada: 4,533,841 (Source: as in 1 above)

       All ages
                  31,081,887
                        15,388,494
                              15,693,393
                                       100.0
                                          100.0
                                              100.0
          0–4
                  1,734,005
                         886,798
                               847,207
                                          5.58
                                              5.76
                                                     5.40
          5–9
                  2,030,513
                         1,039,900
                                990,613
                                          6.53
                                              6.76
                                                     6.31
          10–14



                                                 2
                2,077,877
                       1,065,487
                              1,012,390
                                       6.69
                                           6.92
                                                  6.45
       15–19
                2,085,004
                       1,071,010
                              1,013,994
                                       6.71
                                           6.96
                                                  6.46

4.   What is the total period fertility rate (ie. The number of children that would be
     born to a woman if the current pattern of fertility persisted throughout her
     child-bearing life)?

     Canada: 1.552 (Date 1 July 1997 Source: Statistics Canada,
     http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/990616/d990616b.htm, report of 16 June 1999)


5.   What is the live birth rate (ie. The number of births per thousand population of
     all ages) ?

     Canada: 348,598 live births 29,987,200 population = 11.6 rate ( Date:1 July 1997
     Source: Statistics Canada,
     http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/990616/d990616b.htm, report of 16 June 1999
     and Statistics Canada, CANSIM, Matrices 6367– 6378 and 6408–6409 for population
     as of July 1 1997.)


6.   What is the marriage rate (ie. The number of marriages per 1000 adults of
     marriageable age)?

               Canada                                          1996
               Number of marriages                             156,691
               Crude marriage rate(1)                          5.2
      (1) This is what Statistics Canada calls the number of events per 1000 population.
      From Statistics Canada Vital statistics compendium, 1996. Data on July 1 1996,
      from http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/991125/d991125d.htm



7.   What is the divorce rate (ie. rates per 1000 married population) ?

      Canada                       1996
      Number of divorces         71,528
      Crude divorce rate(1)          2.4
      Same as question 6 above.




                                              3
8.    What % of live births are outside marriage?

      [to determine whether possible to obtain]

9.    What is the % of all live births are to mothers aged 15-19?

      Canada: 5.7% of live births are to mothers under 20 (Date: 1997 Source, from
      Statistics Canada Daily 16 June 1999
      http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/990616/d990616b.htm)

10.   What is the % of working age lone parent households with dependent children
      as a % of all working age households with dependent children? (Dependent
      children are persons under 16, or age 16-18 and in full time education.)

      Canada: Using Census data 5,108,090 families with children at home; 1,137,505 are
      lone-parent families; „working age‟ is defined as 15 and over in Canada, so this
      includes 134,225 lone parents over the age of 64 and an undetermined number of
      other families with one or more adults over 64. Taking into account the above
      limitations, without a breakdown for age and education status of children, working
      age lone parents with dependent children are 22.3% of all working age families.
      (Date: 1996 census data. Source: Statistics Canada, 1996 Census Nation tables).
      However, administrative data sources (see table below) from 1998 show that about
      17.8% of families were lone parents with at least one child under 18, and this data
      seems to be broadly comparable with Census data. Source: 1998 Family Data,
      Statistics Canada, Neighbourhood Insights Catalogue 17-507-XIE, March 2001;
      Table 15; Family Units and Children by Age of Children [Note: This table is derived
      from tax-filing administrative data.] Data on number of children from 16-18 in full time
      education is not available, but from the 1996 Census, among children 15-19
      1,536,020 attended school full time of a total of 1,956,115, or 78.5%. Applying this
      same ratio to the 306,740 lone parents with children between 15-17, would mean that
      approximately about 1.3 % of families were lone parents with children between 15-17
      not in school full time, so 16.5% of families were lone parents with at least one
      child under 18 and whose children between 16 and 18 was in school full time.

            Canada: Percent of Total Family Units by Age of Children
                                       2 parent 1 parent All families
               all children < 18        50.5%    15.9%       66.3%
               some child < 18           8.3%     1.7%       10.0%
               all children > 18        16.8%     6.9%       23.7%
                     Total              75.6%    24.4%       100.0%
        Source: 1998 Family Data, Statistics Canada, Neighbourhood
        Insights Catalogue 17-507-XIE, March 2001; Table 15; Family Units
        and Children by Age of Children [Note: This table is derived from
        tax filing administrative data.]



11.   What is the % of lone mothers as a % of all working age families with
      dependent children?

      Canada: There are 945,230 female parent lone-parent families with children at home.
      Taking account of all the provisos noted in question 10, this represents 18.5% of
      families. (Date: 1996 census data. Source: Statistics Canada, 1996 Census Nation
      tables). However, if there are 16.5% of families with a lone parent head and



                                             4
      dependent children as in question 10 above, and 83.1% of lone parent families are
      lone mother families, as in question 12 below, then 13.7% [16.5% X 83.1%] of
      families are lone mothers with dependent children.

12.   What is the % of lone mothers as a % of all lone parent families?

      Canada: 83.1% (Date: 1996 census data. Source: Statistics Canada, 1996 Census
      Nation tables).

13.   What % of lone parents are:
            Single
Separated
            Divorced
            Widowed?

      [to determine whether possible to obtain]

14.   What % of lone mothers are:
             Single
Separated
      Divorced
             Widowed?

      [to determine whether possible to obtain]




                                            5
Section 2: Employment

Please use consistent points in time for the figures in this section.

1.     What % of couple households with dependent children and headed by adults
       of working age have:

               Canada:                             Number                  %
        Couples w children                         3,970,590             100%
        No workers                                  449,995              11.3%
        One worker                                 1,162,695             29.3%
        Two workers or more                        2,357,895             59.4%
        Three workers or above                        N/A                 N/A
        Date 1996, Source: Statistics Canada Nation Tables: Census Families in
        Private Households by Family Structure, Presence of Children and Labour
        Force Activity of Husband/Male Common-law Partner, Showing Labour
        Force Activity of Wife/Female Common-law Partner or Lone Parent, for
        Canada, 1996 Census (20% Sample Data)


2.     What % of lone parent households with dependent children and headed by
       adults of working age have:

              Canada:                              Number                  %
       Lone parents                                1,137,505             100%
       No workers                                   531,920              46.8%
       One worker                                   605,590              53.2%
       Two workers or more                            N/A                 N/A
       Three workers or above                         N/A                 N/A
       Date 1996, Source: Statistics Canada, Nation Tables: Census Families in
       Private Households by Family Structure, Presence of Children and Labour
       Force Activity of Husband/Male Common-law Partner, Showing Labour
       Force Activity of Wife/Female Common-law Partner or Lone Parent, for
       Canada, 1996 Census (20% Sample Data)


3.     What % of lone parents whose youngest dependent children is aged under 19
       are:
             Employed                    53.2%
             Employed under 16 hours
             Employed 16-29 hours
             Employed 30+ hours?

       [to determine whether possible to obtain]

1996 Census, Statistics Canada.

4.     What % of lone parents whose youngest child is under five years old are:
             Employed
             Employed under 16 hours
             Employed 16-29 hours
             Employed 30+ hours?



                                             6
       [to determine whether possible to obtain]

5.     What % of lone mothers whose youngest dependent children is aged under
       19 are:
               Employed                 50.8
               Employed under 16 hours
               Employed 16-29 hours
               Employed 30+ hours?

1996 Census, Statistics Canada.

       [to determine whether possible to obtain]


6.     What % of lone mothers whose youngest child is under five years old are:

               Employed
               Employed under 16 hours
               Employed 16-29 hours
               Employed 30+ hours?

       [to determine whether possible to obtain]

7.     What % of married/cohabiting mothers whose youngest dependent child is 19
       years or under are:
                Employed
                Employed under 16 hours
               Employed 16-29 hours
               Employed 30+ hours?
       [to determine whether possible to obtain]

8.     What % of married/cohabiting mothers whose youngest dependent child is 5
       years or under are:
                Employed
                Employed under 16 hours
               Employed 16-29 hours
               Employed 30+ hours?
       [to determine whether possible to obtain]

Section 3: Unemployment

For this section, please use the International Labour Office definition of
unemployment: The unemployed are those aged 16 or over without a paid job who
are available to work in the next two weeks, and who either had looked for work in
the last 4 weeks, or were waiting to start a job they had already obtained.

               Canada uses the ILO definition of unemployment, however it should be noted
       that each country interprets these data in subtly different ways. The following note is
       appended to the Statistics Canada Guide to the Labour Force Survey:

               “Note on international comparisons: Most industrialized countries, including
       Canada and the United States, subscribe to guidelines established by the International
       Labour Office for defining and measuring labour market status, including
       unemployment. However, the guidelines are, by design, rather imprecise, so that
       individual countries can interpret them within the context of their own labour


                                             7
        markets. As a result, unemployment rates are not strictly comparable across all
        countries. The LFS has investigated in detail the measurement differences between
        the US and Canadian unemployment rates. The results, featured in the Autumn 1998
        edition of Labour Force Update, catalogue no. 71-005-XPB, showed that
        measurement differences account for about a fifth of the gap between the US
        and Canada unemployment rates.” (bold added by me)


Please use consistent points in time for the figures in this section.

[Note: I can provide consistent data for all 5 following questions from the most recent census,
but that is 1996 data and so is quite out of date, especially for unemployment/employment
data. I can provide more recent data from the Labour Force Survey for questions 1 & 2, but
the LFS does not collect data on household status (e.g., lone parent). I will include both types
of data and you can choose whatever is more suitable in view of the other replies. Also, in
Canada we most often refer to „seasonally adjusted data‟ when reporting unemployment rates.
I provide seasonally adjusted rates below.]


1.      What % of those aged over 16 are ILO unemployed?

        1a. Canada: 6.8% (Date: 2000 annual average. Source: Statistics Canada, Labour
        Force, Employed and Unemployed, Numbers and Rates from the Labour Force
        Survey, updated on 20 July 2001 from
        http://www.statcan.ca/english/Pgdb/People/Labour/labor07a.htm)

        1b. Canada: 10.1% (Date: May 1996. Source: Census of Canada, custom census
        tables, 20% sample.)

2.      What % of females aged over 16 are ILO unemployed?

        2a. Canada: 6.7% (same as 1a above)

        2b. Canada: 10.0% (same as 1b above)

3.      What % of lone parents are ILO unemployed?

        3b. Canada: 15.6% Date 1996, Source: Statistics Canada „Nation Tables‟:
        Census Families in Private Households by Family Structure, Presence of Children
        and Labour Force Activity of Husband/Male Common-law Partner, Showing Labour
        Force Activity of Wife/Female Common-law Partner or Lone Parent, for Canada,
        1996 Census (20% Sample Data)

4.      What % of lone mothers are ILO unemployed?

        4b. Canada: 16.3% of lone mothers (same as 3b above)

5.      What % of married/cohabiting mothers are ILO unemployed?

        5b. Canada: 8.3% (same as 3b above)

Section 4: Education




                                               8
[Note: In Canada, education is an area of provincial jurisdiction under the Constitution. The
following answers are for the province of Ontario, which is the largest province, with 38% of
Canada‟s total population.]

1.      What is the statutory minimum school age?

        Canada, Ontario: 6 years of age

2.      What is the statutory school leaving age?

        Canada, Ontario: 16 years of age

3.      What % of children under 3 years old are in formal education/childcare?

        Canada, Ontario: As a rough approximation only, as this data is not formally
        collected; in 1998 there were about 18,800 regulated and licensed spaces for children
        up to 30 months, and there were 419,400 children under 3 years of age, so, taking
        account of the non-matching of ages, the rough estimate would be about 4.5% in
        formal childcare. Source: Statistics Summary: Canadian Early Childhood Care and
        Education in the 1990s by The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) at the
        Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto
        http://www.childcarecanada.org/resources/CRRUpubs/factsheets/statsum2.html

4.      What % of children age 3 - 4 are in formal education/childcare?

        Canada, Ontario: As a rough approximation only, as this data is not formally
        collected; in 1998 there were about 106,000 regulated and licensed spaces for
        children from 30 months up to 5 years of age, and there were 456,100 children from 3
        to 5 years of age, so, taking account of the non-matching of ages, the rough estimate
        would be about 23.3% in formal childcare. This does not include children enrolled in
        kindergarten or pre-kindergarten (ages 5 and 4 respectively) through school boards,
        as province wide data is not available. Source: Statistics Summary: Canadian Early
        Childhood Care and Education in the 1990s by The Childcare Resource and
        Research Unit (CRRU) at the Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University
        of Toronto
        http://www.childcarecanada.org/resources/CRRUpubs/factsheets/statsum2.html

5.     What % of children between school leaving age and 18 are in full time
       education (do not include government supported or employer funded
       training)?

        Canada: 78.5% of children from aged 15 to 19 are in full time education. Data on
        children from 16-18 not available, nor is it possible to distinguish government
        supported education – does this include grants, bursaries and loans? – from other
        education. However, it is safe to say that there would be very few employer funded
        training courses in Canada. The vast majority of students have some form of lone or
        grant – to exclude these, the % in education would be very low and not at all
        meaningful and probably unavailable. (Date: May 1996. Source: Census of Canada,
        custom census tables, 20% sample.)




                                              9
PART B – CURRENT POLICIES THAT AFFECT FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
AND HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED BY JULY 2001

Section 1: Earnings and Minimum Wage

1.    What are the assumed mean gross average earnings per month for
      all full time employees male full time employees female full time employees at
      July 2001?

                                                   Mean gross average earnings per month
                      Canada                       for July 2001
      full time employees                                         $3,684.31
      male full time employees                                    $4,164.17
      female full time employees                                  $3,008.56
      Source: Statistics Canada; base earnings for 1998 from the Survey of Labour Income
      and Dynamics, update to July 2001 from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and
      Hours. See question 3 below.


2.    What are the assumed median gross average earnings per month for:
      all full time employees male full time employees female full time employees at
      July 2001 ?

      Canada: The only data available in Canada on median earnings is from the 1997
      Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) , which is no longer being used to collect data of
      this kind. The base income data from 1998 used to calculate average earnings as
      above is from a different survey – the Survey of Labour Income and Dynamics
      (SLID). However there is no published source of information on median incomes yet
      available from the SLID. A 1999 publication from the SCF gives the following for
      full-time full-year workers‟ earnings:

                           Canada 1997 FTFY Workers’ Earnings
                                        Average                 Median
                 Total                  $38,011                 $33,995
                 Male                   $42,026                 $38,572
                 Female                 $30,915                 $28,944
                 Source: Date 1997; Statistics Canada, Earnings of Men and
                 Women 1997, Catalogue No. 13-217-XIB (1999, Ministry of
                 Industry, Ottawa)

      Assuming the same ratios of median to average income apply in July 2001 as in 1997
      (which is likely not correct but perhaps a reasonable approximation), we get the
      following median monthly earnings for FTFY workers:

                                                 Median gross average earnings per month
                          Canada
                                                 for July 2001
              full time employees                               $3,295.05
              male full time employees                          $3,821.93
              female full time employees                        $2,816.74


3.    From what source have you derived the average earnings data from?




                                           10
             Canada: Unfortunately Statistics Canada is having difficulty introducing its
             new survey to collect annual earnings data, the Survey of Labour Income and
             Dynamics (SLID). The last report on average earnings from SLID is for May
             1998. I took that data and up-dated it using an index of average weekly
             earnings from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, through to
             May 2001. I then took the average increase for each month from February
             2001 through May 2001 and applied that index to project to July 2001. (All
             calculations are set out on the Excel file under the „data‟ worksheet.)

4.   Does your country have a minimum wage? If so, what level is it set at? Does
     it vary by age/type of work/how the person is paid/ whether full time or part
     time etc.?

     Canada: The federal (central) government of Canada and each of the provinces and
     territories has a minimum wage. The federal minimum wage only applies to
     nationally charted companies such as banks, airlines and railroads so it effects few
     workers. I will therefore provide replies for the jurisdiction of the province of
     Ontario. Unfortunately the minimum wage rules are very complex in Ontario, as in
     every jurisdiction in Canada. The Ontario minimum wage is as follows as of July
     2001:

     General Minimum Wage: $6.85

     Liquor Server Minimum Wage: $5.95
            This hourly rate applies if you are employed to serve liquor directly to
            customers in licensed premises as a regular part of your work.

     Student Minimum Wage: $6.40
            This hourly rate applies if you are a student under 18 years of age. But if you
            work more than 28 hours in a week during the school term, you must get the
            general minimum wage for all the hours you worked in that week.

     Harvest Workers Minimum Wage: $6.85
            If you harvest fruit, vegetables or tobacco, you get the general minimum
            wage. Note: Some harvest workers are paid on a piece work basis. They are
            paid by the amount of work they do, not by the number of hours they work

     Homeworker Premium Minimum Wage: $7.54
          The law says homeworkers must get an extra premium of ten per cent (10%)
          on top of the current general minimum wage of $6.85. This means their
          current minimum wage is $7.54 an hour ($6.85 + .69 cents). Homeworkers
          work in a private home for a business owned by someone else. They are not
          domestic workers. Domestic workers are employed by a "householder",
          someone who has a home where the domestic worker is employed.

     The minimum wage does not apply to you if you are one of the following:

                    qualified professional, such as an architect, doctor, lawyer, public
                     accountant;
                    teacher (as defined in the Teaching Profession Act);
                    student training for one of the above professions;
                    registered real estate salesperson;
                    Crown employee;




                                           11
                     commissioned salesperson who usually sells away from the
                      employer's office or plant (you are eligible if you sell on a route);
                     person training to be a practical nurse, laboratory technologist or
                      radiological technician;
                     domestic worker who works less than 24 hours a week or who works
                      as a babysitter or companion;
                     commercial fisher;
                     farm worker where your work is directly related to producing food.
                      (Note: This does not include harvest workers. A special section of the
                      Act deals with them);
                     student who supervises or teaches children, works at a children's
                      camp or in recreation programs run by charitable organizations.


5.    When was this introduced?

              Canada: There have been minimum wages in Ontario (and the rest of
              Canada) for many decades, likely beginning sometime in the period after the
              First World War – 1921 but it was done in stages – first it only applied to
              adult males etc.

6.    How is it uprated?

              Canada: Ontario uprates its minimum wage from time to time at the pleasure
              of the government, through amendments to the Employment Standards Act
              Regulations. There is no fixed schedule or index for uprating. In fact, the
              Ontario minimum wage has not been uprated since 1995 when a
              Conservative government was elected.

Section 2: Income tax

1.    What are the income tax rates and thresholds?

      Canada: Income tax is collected by both federal and provincial governments. In this
      response I give answers for federal and Ontario jurisdictions combined:

                Canada and Ontario income tax rates and thresholds
                                        Federal      Ontario     Total
        Income under $30,004            17%          6.37%       23.37%
        Between $30,004 and $60,009     25%          9.62%       34.62%
        Over $60,009                    29%          11.16%      40.16%

      There are also surtaxes that apply to payable tax rather than to income, so they are not
      possible to describe simply in terms of thresholds:

      Federal surtax = 5% X (federal tax payable - $15,500)   [or 0 if negative]
      Ontario surtax = 20% X (Ontario tax payable - $3,561) + [or 0 if negative]
                       36% X (Ontario tax payable - $3,561)    [or 0 if negative]

      There are also standard personal credits whose value is a non-refundable $1,229.27
      for the basic personal credit (reduction from tax payable) and $1,148.18 for a non-
      earning spouse.




                                            12
2.   Do any tax allowance or credits exist for lone parents and/ or couples with
     children? If so, what are they called and who qualifies?

             Canada: There are numerous tax allowances for lone parents and/ or couples
             with children. The full description takes approximately 35 pages of tables.
             The main allowances and credits are The Canada Child Tax Benefit for
             children and the Spousal Equivalent Tax Credit for lone parents. Essentially
             all families with children under 19 qualify for the Canada Child Tax Benefit
             (even those with no income as it is refundable), depending upon income. All
             one parents with taxable income qualify for the Spousal Equivalent Tax
             Credit (which is a deduction from tax payable and is not refundable).

             There are also provincial benefits. In Ontario there is an Ontario Child Care
             Supplement for Working Families (although it is misnamed as it is not
             dependent on actual spending on child care). Families with children under
             age 7 are eligible depending upon income.

             There are also smaller federal and provincial credits. For a full description
             see ed. Mendelson and Battle, 2001 Benefits for Children: A Four Country
             Study Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Ottawa pp. 151 – 185. The major
             credits that will apply to the cases in the matrix are:

                      1. Canada Child Tax Benefit
                      2. Equivalent to Spouse Credit
                      3. GST Tax Credit
                      4. non-refundable medical expense tax credit
                      5. refundable medical expense tax credit
                      6. child care expense deduction
                      7. Ontario's Child Care Supplement for Working Families
                      8. Ontario's Property Tax Credit
                      9. Ontario's Sales Tax Credit

3.   Does the allowance/amount credited vary by:


                                             Canada
     income            All credits vary by income in Canada and Ontario
     number of         No credits vary by number of hours worked in Canada and Ontario
     hours worked
     number of         All child related refundable credits vary by number of children, but
     children          the Spousal Equivalent Tax Credit does not vary by number of
                       children
     age of child      There is some variation by age of child in the Canada Child tax
                       benefit as well as provincial child related credits
     type of family    Lone parents get the Spousal Equivalent Tax Credit. So do couples,
                       with or without children, if one of the spouses is not working.
     other             ?

4.   How is it paid to families and who is it paid to?

             Canada: Most credits are paid by the same agency that collects income taxes
             – the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. The Canada Child Tax Benefit
             and most provincial credits are paid by monthly cheque or direct bank deposit
             (about 50% each). The Spousal Equivalent Credit and other non-refundable



                                           13
             credits are paid as a deduction from tax payable and are sent out as part of tax
             refunds annually. Most child related credits are paid to the female parent
             unless the family requests otherwise.

Section 3: Employee social security contributions

1.    What are the National Insurance contribution (social security/health
      insurance) requirements?


           Canada: Employment Insurance Premium Rate and Maximum
                          Insurable Earnings 2001

              Maximum      Premium Rate Per $100 of         Annual Maximum
                Annual        Insurable Earnings              Contribution
              Insurable
               Earnings

                           employee          employer         EE         ER
                          contributions    contributions
                              (EE)             (ER)

                $39,000       2.25              3.15        $ 878      $ 1,229


           Canada and Quebec Pension Plans, C/QPP 2001 contribution
           rate, above $3,500 Years Basic Exemption (YBE) and up to
           Maximum Pensionable earnings of $36,900 earned income
             Employee      Employer
                                          Combined/ Self-employed Rate
                Rate         Rate
               4.3%          4.3%                    8.6%


2.    Do Social Security contributions vary with the number or ages of children
      and/or family type? Canada: No

3.    Do any exemptions or rebates exist?
            Canada: The first $3,500 of income is exempt for the Canada Pension Plan.
            In the Employment Insurance plan, employers hiring youth may get a special
            credit that reduces their contributions. There are some other reductions that
            employers may obtain. Otherwise there are no rebates.

      Is anybody in paid work credited?
             Canada: No, although there are exemptions for low earning years for the
             C/QPP, as with many pension plans. One is allowed to not count one‟s five
             lowest earnings years in calculating C/QPP.




                                           14
Section 4: Maternity/paternity and leave to care for children, including sick
children

Maternity and Paternity and parental leave are provincially regulated, not federal. This section
therefore uses Ontario as an example since it is the largest province with over 40% of the
population of Canada.

Maternity leave:

1.      Does you country have statutory arrangements for maternity leave?

                Canada: Maternity leave is regulated as part of employment standards and is
                therefore, like minimum wage, mainly provincial. Rules vary considerably
                from province to province, but most provinces do have statutory provisions
                requiring unpaid maternity leave. Maternity benefits ate paid through the
                federal Employment Insurance program.

2.      If yes, is their universal coverage?
                Canada: „Statutory leave‟ and „compensation‟ for leave are not identical in
                Canada. There is universal statutory leave, but not universal benefits.
                Benefits are available through Employment Insurance, so the are only
                available to those with the requisite credits for Insurable employment (e.g.,
                excludes most of the self-employed and unemployed).
                In Ontario, there is no maternity leave per se – only parental leave. Parental
                leave is a right new parents have under the Employment Standards Act. It is
                up to the parents to choose who is going to use this leave. The statutory
                maximum parental leave is 35-37 weeks, depending upon whether the mother
                took a two week pregnancy leave. This is not paid leave.
                Parental leave is:
                 Up to 35 weeks for those who also took a pregnancy leave, or
                 Up to 37 weeks for those who did not take a pregnancy leave.
                Parental leave begins no later than 52 weeks after the birth of the child or the
                date your child first came into your custody, care and control. The employer
                does not have to pay wages to those on parental leave, but the employer does
                have to provide the same or equivalent job upon return to the work place.
                Parental leave is open to either spouse. Both parents can take up leave
                simultaneously but they have a combined total maximum.

        If no, give details of who is/is not eligible and how much the receive.

            Canada: (Federal) Employment Insurance pays the employment insurance
            benefit rate equals to 55% of average weekly insurable earnings, up to a
            maximum of $413 per week.
             A maximum of 50 weeks of combined maternity and parental benefits is
               possible rather than 25 weeks.
             Parents need 600 hours of insurable earnings rather than 700 to qualify. This
               is equivalent to 30 hours of employment over 20 weeks.
             Parents can work while they take the parental leave. They can earn $50 or up
               to 25% of their weekly benefits (the higher of the two amounts).
            Everyone is entitled to leave, but not everyone gets paid during leave.

3.      What is the maximum duration in weeks?

            Canada: For federal Employment Insurance benefits:


                                               15
             A maximum 15 weeks of maternity benefits are payable only to the
              biological mother in a period surrounding the birth of the child. To be
              eligible, you will need 600 hours of insured work in the last 52 weeks or
              since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter.

             A maximum up to 35 weeks of parental benefits are payable to biological and
              adoptive parents. You and your partner (if sharing parental benefits) will each
              need 600 hours of insured work in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your
              last claim, whichever is shorter, to be eligible.

          For Ontario statutory parental 35 to 37 weeks.

4.    Is maternity leave paid and is this for the full duration? If paid but not for the
      full duration, please stipulate how long payment is for.

              Canada: Maternity leave is paid for 15 weeks and another 35 weeks to be
              shared by both partners is also available.

5.     Are lost earnings replaced in full? Canada: No

6.     Who is paying the maternity leave (state, employee, health insurance)?

              Canada: The unemployment insurance plan, which is called „Employment
              Insurance.‟

7.     Are social insurance contributions maintained throughout maternity leave?

              Canada: Yes. Ontario law requires that employers maintain standard benefits
              while the employee is on parental leave, so long as the employee pays his or
              her share.

8.     Is the mother‟s job guaranteed on her return to work?

              Canada: Yes, or a better paying job.

9.    Does the mother have the right to work part time hours on her return to work,
      even if she was previously working full time? Canada: NO

10.   If statutory maternity leave does not exist, is there any other maternity leave
      for which women may be eligible? If so, give details.

              Canada: N/A

11.   If statutory maternity pay is not universal, is there any other maternity pay for
      women who do not qualify for Statutory maternity leave? If so, give details.

              Canada: No

12.    Do any maternity grants exist? If so, give details.

              Canada: No

Paternity leave:



                                            16
13.   Does your country have statutory arrangements for paternity leave?

              Canada: There are statutory provisions in Ontario for (unpaid) parental leave
              to be taken by either parent. Employment Insurance pays 35 weeks parental
              leave which can go to either parent. SEE ABOVE ANSWERS FOR
              FURTHER DETAIL.

14.   Is their universal coverage? If not, give details.

              Canada: There is universal statutory unpaid parental leave for those who
              have employers, but parental leave benefits only go to those eligible for
              Employment Insurance.

15.   Is paternity leave paid?

              Canada: Up to 35 weeks for either parent if they are eligible for
              Employment Insurance.

16.   If yes, is it paid to all fathers? If no, give details.

              Canada: Whomever is taking parental leave needs at least 600 hours of
              insurable earnings in the last year.

17.   Is it paid for the full duration? If no, give details.

              Canada: Statutory leave provisions and benefit entitlements under
              Employment Insurance are harmonized so that if a father and mother share
              parental leave they will get benefits for the whole period, if they are eligible
              for benefits in the first place.

18.   What is the level of payment?

              Canada: Usually, benefits ate 55% of average weekly insurable earnings, up
              to a maximum of $413 per week. However, if net taxable income is less than
              $25,921 per year the family is eligible for a full or partial EI Family
              Supplement. The Family Supplement rate is based on family net income up to
              a maximum of $25,921 per year, the number of children in the family and
              their ages. In the year 2001 the maximum Family Supplement be up to 80%
              of your average insurable earnings. As income level rises, the Family
              Supplement gradually decreases, so that when the maximum income of
              $25,921 is reached no supplement is payable. If family net income is below
              $20,921 the full supplement is paid. If family net income is between $20,921
              and $25,921, you will receive a partial Family Supplement reduced by about
              25% of earned income above $20,921. No Family Supplement is paid beyond
              the maximum Employment Insurance weekly rate of $413.


19.   Is the father‟s job guaranteed on their return to work? Give details.

              Canada: Yes, father‟s job is guaranteed. Details are:

              Father earns seniority and some benefits when on parental leave. While he is
              on parental leave, his employer must pay the employer portion of payments
              to certain benefit plans (such as pension plans, life and health insurance).



                                             17
              In most cases, the employer must give him back the job he was doing when
              he went on parental leave. If the wages for the job have gone up while he was
              on leave, he must get the higher wage. If his old job is not there any more, his
              employer must give him a job that is like his old job. The wages in any new
              job must be the same as the wages in the old job, or better.


Leave to care for children, including leave to care for sick children:

20.    Does your country provide statutory arrangements for leave to care for
       children?

              Canada: No.

       If yes, how many days/ weeks leave are given?

              Canada: NA

21.    Is leave flexible – ie. can a person reduce the amount of working hours?

              Canada: NA

22.    If any, what is the limit of the age of the child? Canada: NA

23.    What is the level of payment? Canada: NA

24.    Is the parent‟s job guaranteed on their return to work? Canada: NA


Section 5: Universal child benefits

1.     Does your country have universal child benefit? If yes, what is it called? Give
       details - does it vary by number of children, age of children and family type
       etc.?

              Canada: Canada does not have any universal child benefit.

2.     What are the age limits? Canada: NA

3.     Who is the benefit paid to – the mother or father? NA

4.     Is it contributory? Canada: NA

5.     Is it uprated? If so, how often and is this index linked? Canada: NA

6.     Is it taxed? Canada: NA


Section 6: Income related child benefits

1.     Does income related child benefit exist? If so, does it vary by number of
       children, age of children and family type?

              Canada: Canada has several income related child benefits. At the federal
              level the Canada Child Tax Benefit provides payment based on the number


                                            18
              and age of the child, but not on the family type. The Ontario government also
              pays the Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families, for each child
              under 7 (regardless of whether there is any child care expense or not).

2.    How often is it paid?

              Canada: Monthly

3.    Who is it paid to – mother or father?

              Canada: Mother by default, unless otherwise requested.

4.    Is it contributory?

              Canada: No.

5.    Is it taxed?

              Canada: No.

Section 7: Childcare provision

1.    What are the normal school hours?

              Canada: Vary from province to province and even among school boards.
              Usually 9 AM to 3:30 PM

2.    Does the state guarantee childcare for children below the minimum school
      statutory school age?

              Canada: No. Again this is provincial, but at the present time no province
              guarantees child care to anyone.

3.    Is priority given to lone parents?

              Canada: Individual child care centres give priority. Child care centres are
              formal „institutions‟ with a board etc. and a defined sole purpose space that
              cares for children under school age or before or after school. It is
              distinguished from family child care which is in a family home and usually
              limited to one to four children, and the care giver may not have formal
              qualifications.

4.    What is the most prevalent full time form of formal childcare for children
      below minimum statutory school age, as used in the matrix? (Do not include
      nursery or reception classes in school or the equivalent).

              Canada: Centre based care is most prevalent.

                     Regulated child care spaces for children 0-12 years
                     Canada (1992, 1995, 1998)
                               1992               1995             1998
           Centre-             262,857            299,939          329,950**
           based*


                                             19
          Family
                               45,679           65,928            70,270
          day care
          Total**              371,573          425,332           516,734
            Source: Statistics Summary: Canadian Early Childhood Care and Education
            in the 1990s by The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) at the
            Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto
            http://www.childcarecanada.org/resources/CRRUpubs/factsheets/statsum2.ht
            ml

5.   What proportion of children use the most prevalent full time form of formal
     childcare?

            Canada: 6.5% of all children up to the age of 12 in 1998 according to the
            study cited in 4. above. In 1998 there were:
            0-18 months 5300
            19-30 months 15 000
            31 months – 5 years 106 200
            6-12 40 590
            in care.

6.   Are there any charges made for the type of full time formal childcare used in
     the matrix? If so, how much are they?

            Canada: Yes, there are charges. Fees vary by age of child, in 1998 average
            fees were:


               Median monthly parent fees (centre-based, full-time),
                               Canada (1998)*

                                         Median              Range $
                                           $              lowest-highest
         Infants (0-17 months)**          531       380 (NB)      783 (ON)
      Toddlers (18 months - 3
                                          477       360 (NB)         603 (ON)
      years)
      Preschoolers                                  360 (PE,
                                          455                        460 (BC)
      (3 years - 5.11 years)                        NF, NB)


7.   Are there any income related reductions/subsidies? If so, what are they, who
     is eligible? Note: this excludes tax credits.

            Canada: Yes there are income related subsidies in most provinces, aside
            form tax credits. Eligibility varies tremendously and is not really possible to
            detail in a few words.



8.   Are their any other benefit/subsidies?




                                           20
              Canada: There are tax credits and direct grants to child care centres in most
              provinces.

9.    Does a tax credit relief exist? If so, what is it, who is eligible, and how much is
      it for? Does it vary by number/ age of children, type of family etc.

              Canada: Yes there are tax credits. Child care expenses of up to $7,000 for
              each child under 7 and $4,000 for each child from 7 to 15 may be deducted
              from income. This is worth up to $1,020 for tax payers with less than $30,004
              taxable income; $1,500 for those between $30,0004 and $60,008 and $1,740
              for those over $60,008. There are no variations by family type (unless the chil
              has a disability). Ontario also has a Child Care Supplement for Working
              Families credit. This is not usually related to child care, despite its name;
              however, families claiming child care expenses on their federal income tax
              may claim half of their expense up to a maximum of $1,100 for couples and
              an addition $210 for lone parents, and this is paid as a credit regardless of
              income. It is paid on a monthly basis (see „child benefits‟ worksheet in
              matrix).

10.   Can these financial subsidies be used to pay for childcare provided by
      relatives and or friends?

              Canada: Yes, so long as it is receipted care, so that the income has to be
              reported as well by the care giver.

11.   What formal arrangements are there for out of school childcare provision for
      school aged children?

              Canada: This varies tremendously form province to province. In most
              provinces, there are some centres that provide out of school care, but this is
              not an organized service meant systematically to cover the population.
              1998: In Ontario just less than 4% of school age children used out of school
              childcare.

12.   Are there charges for this?

              Canada: Yes.

13.   Can these charges be reduced? If so, in what circumstances?

              Canada: The charges are usually subsidized according to income in most
              provinces, but there is tremendous variation.

Section 8: School costs and benefits

1.    Are meals provided?

              Canada: No, except in a few schools in very deprived neighbourhoods in a
              few provinces.

2.    Do meal subsidies exist? – give details.

              Canada: No, with the exception noted above.

3.    Are there any books or material charges? – give details


                                            21
              Canada: There are not supposed to be such charges, but there may be some
              informal and undocumented charges to parents for extras.

4.    Do any allowances etc. exist for young people (16-18 year olds) who remain
      in full time education after the school leaving age? If so, give details. Do not
      include training allowances or apprenticeship schemes.

              Canada: There are no allowances for young people who remain in school.

Section 9: Health costs

1.    Are there any hospital/ General practitioner (GP) dental/prescription charges
      for children in your country? If yes, give details

              Canada: Charges for doctors and hospital services are not formally permitted
              in Canada, although there are some doctors who do apply informal charges
              for „extras.‟

              Dental services and drugs are a private market in Canada and there is not any
              general coverage for children, except in the province of Quebec, with respect
              to prescription drugs. The charges are set by the market or by the dental
              associations (although these are not negotiated fees). There are some
              programs to pay such costs for children on social assistance or, in some
              provinces, low income households.


2.    Are there any exemptions for children? If yes, give details

              Canada: NA

3.    Are there hospital/ GP/ dental/ prescription charges for adults? Give details.

              Canada: Same as for children: all hospital and doctors are covered, no dental
              and drugs are covered.

4.    Are there any exemptions for adults? If yes, give details Canada: NA

Section 10: Housing costs, local taxes and housing subsidies

1.    Nationally, what is the % renting each type of tenure?

                              Total -
            Canada                         Owned       Rented      Band housing
                              Tenure
       Total households     10,820,055    6,877,780    3,905,145           37,125
                                             63.6%        36.1%              0.3%
       Source: Nation Series, 1996 Census, Private households by Household
       Type, Showing Tenure, for Canada, 1996 Census (20% Sample Data)
      Band housing is housing on Indian lands (reserves) where land is held collectively
      and the housing is owned by the band. It is more or less a form of public housing.




                                           22
       Subsidized or social housing is not a major form of tenure in Canada. Aggregate data
       on „social housing‟ tenure is not readily available.

2.     Housing costs, local and state taxes may vary from one place to another –
       could you please specify the location in which the model families live?

               Canada: Toronto, Ontario

3.     Which tenure have you chosen for the matrix?

               Canada: I have assumed a market rental, which is by far the most common
               form of rental in Canada. However, my assumption does not make any
               difference since we have been told to assume that rent is 20% of gross
               earnings, which is an underestimate even for those few in subsidized rental
               housing.

               In your model answer you said “UK: A 3 bedroom dwelling, regardless of
               family type.” I do not understand how the word „tenure‟ is related to the
               number of bedrooms. The word „tenure‟ means „the form of possession of the
               dwelling.‟ Renters do not pay property tax.

4.     Do indirect subsidies for bricks and mortar exist for the type of housing which
       couples with children and/ or lone parents are renting?

               Canada: Not consistently, except for programs from time to time to give tax
               preferences to multiple residence dwellings.

5.    Do direct subsidies exist for the type of rented housing which you have
chosen? – What are they called and what is the level of benefit?

               Canada: No, subsidies do not exist.

6.     If so, who can claim it - do payments vary with income, work status, age,
       number and family type etc.? Canada: NA

7.     Is it contributory? NA

8.     Is it taxable? Canada: NA

9.     How is it uprated? Canada: NA

10.    Is it administered at national or local level? Canada: NA

11.    Does local taxation exist? If yes, what type of local taxation exists, what are
       the charges?

               Canada: Yes, there is local taxation. Local taxation is a percentage of the
               deemed value of property, which may or may not be equal to the assessed
               value depending upon the province. The amount of the local property tax
               differs from municipality to municipality and even within classes of property.
               The property tax in the matrix is for Toronto, Ontario.

12.    What service charges are part of the local tax?




                                            23
              Canada: All local property services are included as part of the local tax, such
              as police, garbage, and water. Services that are not included are electricity
              and telephone.

13.   Is it possible to get a rebate on these taxes? If so, give details.

              Canada: Yes, most provinces have some very minor forms of property tax
              rebate of a $100 or so on the income tax.

14.   Is the benefit administered nationally or at a local level?

              Canada: Provincial level.

15.   Are there any additional service charges. If yes, give details?

      Canada: No

Section 11: Child support

1.    Is child maintenance guaranteed? Canada: No

2.    If yes, give details.

3.    Is child support disregarded for income related benefits?

              Canada: It is disregarded in some provinces for some purposes, but in
              general this is an exception. In Ontario, it is fully included for purposes of
              calculating social assistance entitlement.

Section 12: Social Assistance

1.    Does your country have some form of last resort „safety net‟ benefits for
      people without sufficient cash income from other sources?

              Canada: Yes, there is a last resort safety net in each province.

2.    What are the main social assistance and minimum schemes of which lone
      parents and couples with children are likely to be claimants?

              Canada: In Ontario, lone parents and couples would have to rely on
              provincial social assistance, called „Ontario Works,‟ unless they have a
              serious and permanent disability. Eligibility is only after exhausting benefits
              from social insurance such as Employment Insurance or Workers
              Compensation program for injured workers, and requires various very
              intrusive tests – indeed a literacy test and a drug test are planned.

3.    Who is eligible to claim each of these benefits?

              Canada: Anyone in need, whose income and assets fall below a certain level
              and who has no other alternatives, including employment alternatives;
              however testing for „true need‟ is very rigorous.

4.    Does this include additions for children – give details.




                                             24
            Canada: Yes, social assistance includes additions for children. The details
            are given below. The program is very complex and difficult to summarize.
            1. The amount payable for basic needs determined in accordance
            with the following Table:
            No. of                                                   Recipient Recipient
                             Dependants 13         Dependants 0-
            Dependants Other                                                   and Spouse
                             Years and Over        12 Years
            than a Spouse
            0                0                     0                 195      390
                             0                     1                 446      476
            1
                             1                     0                 486      512
                                0                  2                 532      576

            2                   1                  1                 572      612

                                2                  0                 608      648
            For each additional dependant, add $136 if the dependant is 13 years of
            age or over or $100 if the dependant is less than 13 years of age.
            (O. Reg. 227/98, s.21(5))

42 (1) in this section, "shelter" means the cost for a dwelling place used as a principal
residence with respect to any of the following:
    1. Rent, other than amounts paid for parking and cable.

    2. Principal and interest on a mortgage or loan incurred to purchase the dwelling
       place or to make repairs that the administrator determines are necessary in order
       for the property to continue to be used as a dwelling place.

    3. Occupancy costs paid under an agreement to purchase the dwelling place.

    4. Taxes.

    5. Premiums for an insurance policy with respect to the dwelling place or its
       contents.

    6. Reasonable and necessary payments, approved by the administrator, for the
       preservation, maintenance and use of the dwelling place.

    7. Common expenses required to be contributed for a condominium unit or a co-
       operative housing unit except that portion of the common expenses allocated to
       the cost of energy for heat. (O. Reg 227/98, s.20.(1))

    8. The following utilities, if they are not included in rent or common expenses: (O.
       Reg. 227/98, s.20(2))

       i.   An energy source used for household purposes other than for heat.

      ii.   Water and sewage.

    9. Rent under a land lease.

    10. The cost of energy for heat.

(2) The following rules apply for calculating the cost of shelter:



                                           25
      1. Subject to section 45, determine the actual cost payable for shelter under
         subsection (1).

      2. Determine the maximum amount payable for shelter in accordance with the
         following Table:
              Benefit Unit Size    Maximum Monthly Shelter Allowance
                       1                        $325.00
                       2                        $511.00
                       3                        $554.00
                       4                        $602.00
                       5                        $649.00
                  6 or more                     $673.00


5.    What % of lone parents receive these benefit(s)?

              Canada: Not known

6.    What % of lone mothers receive these benefit(s)?

              Canada: Not known

7.    What % of cohabiting/married mothers receive the benefit(s)?

              Canada: Not known

8.    Are they nationally or locally regulated?

              Canada: Provincially

9.    Are they nationally or locally administered?

              Canada: In Ontario, they are locally administered.

10.   Does a work test operate for lone parents and cohabiting/married mothers
      with children? If so, what does this consist of – for example, does it depend
      on the age of the youngest child and, if so, what is this age?

              Canada: Yes, there is a work test. Sole support parents with children of
              school age (6 and older) are required to be actively engaged in search for
              employment.




                                            26
PART C – SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN POLICIES AFFECTING FAMILIES AND
CHILDREN SINCE 1996

Could you please outline any significant changes in policies that have taken
place since 1996 for each section. Do not report routine upratings or minor
changes.

Section 1: Earnings and Minimum Wage

              Canada: Aside from absence of up-ratings, no change in policy.

Section 2: Income Tax

              Canada: Income tax has been significantly reduced at both the federal and
              provincial levels. The major structural changes include:

                     Provinces are now able to tax income, rather than levy a % of the
                      federal tax. This means that provinces can develop their own tax rates
                      and structures, while still using the federal collection system.
                     The federal government indexed its entire income tax system to the
                      Consumer Price Index, whereas it previously had not been indexed at
                      all.
                     A major surtax on upper income earners – a deficit reduction surtax –
                      has been eliminated.

Section 3: Employee social security contributions

              Canada: C/QPP contributions have been increased and Employment
              Insurance contributions decreased but there have been no major structural
              changes in contributions.

Section 4: Maternity/paternity and leave to care for children, including sick
children

              Canada: The federal government introduced radically expanded parental
              leave provisions in Employment Insurance as outlined above, and most
              provinces have responded by increasing statutory provisions for parental
              leave in their Employment Standards Act. Essentially, most parents are now
              entitled to up to one year of partially subsidized parental leave.

Section 5: Universal child benefits

              Canada: No change.

Section 6: Income related child benefits

              Canada: The Canada Child Tax benefit has gone from a minor to a major
              program, including the redesign to eliminate a benefit only for working
              families. The provinces and the federal government are now working together
              under a collective framework towards an integrated child benefit.

Section 7: Childcare provision

              Canada: No change.



                                           27
Section 8: School costs and benefits

                 Canada: No change.

Section 9: Health costs

                 Canada: No change.

Section 10: Housing costs, local taxes and housing subsidies

                 Canada: No change in housing costs (except for rapid increase in market
                 rents). Local taxes have gone to current value assessment and sharply
                 increased. Housing subsidies have stayed the same, but no new subsidized
                 housing is being built.

Section 11: Child support

                 Canada: Child support has become non-taxable for the recipient spouse and
                 taxable for the paying spouse. Whereas previously it was the reverse. The
                 federal government has attempted to introduce guidelines on the amounts of
                 child support as a means of reducing contested divorces, but this has had
                 limited impact and has been more or less ineffective in the Courts.


Section 12: Social Assistance

                 Canada: There have been numerous changes in Ontario social assistance:

                           a 21% rate cut
                           introduction of a mandatory work/community volunteer program
                           reduction of provincial social assistance benefits for children in
                            favour of federal CCTB benefits as part of the movement to an
                            integrated child credit.




                                                 28
PART D – FUTURE PLANS

Could you please outline any significant changes in policies affecting families
with children that have already been announced but not implemented by July
2001.

Section 1: Earnings and Minimum Wage

              Canada: None.

Section 2: Income Tax

              Canada: Scheduled decreases.

Section 3: Employee social security contributions

              Canada: Scheduled decreases in EI contributions, and increases in C/QPP
              contributions.

Section 4: Maternity/paternity and leave to care for children, including sick
children

              Canada: None.

Section 5: Universal child benefits

              Canada: None.

Section 6: Income related child benefits

              Canada: None.

Section 7: Childcare provision

              Canada: None.

Section 8: School costs and benefits

              Canada: None.

Section 9: Health costs

              Canada: None.

Section 10: Housing costs, local taxes and housing subsidies

              Canada: None.

Section 11: Child support

              Canada: None.

Section 12: Social Assistance

              Canada: None.



                                          29

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Stats:
views:343
posted:1/8/2009
language:English
pages:29