Questions & Answers
Nurses, Paramedical, and Residents
How long is the Maternity and Parental Leave of Absence?
As a regular employee of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH), you are entitled to 52 weeks of unpaid leave.
This consists of 17 weeks of maternity leave and 35 weeks of parental leave. During the leave, you may be eligible to
collect up to 50 weeks of Employment Insurance (EI). In addition, VCH pays a Supplemental Employment Benefit
(SEB) Plan “top-up” for 17 weeks of your maternity leave.
How do I prepare for my Leave of Absence?
Approximately 2 months prior to the expected date of birth, submit a letter to your supervisor requesting a
Maternity/Parental Leave and they, in turn, will submit a Notice of Unpaid Leave of Absence to Records & Benefits for
When can I start collecting EI Maternity benefits and for how long can I collect the benefits, if I’m
You can start collecting Maternity benefits as early as 8 weeks before you are expected to give birth and up to the day
you give birth. You can collect a maximum of 15 weeks of benefits, following a 2-week unpaid waiting period.
When can I start collecting EI Parental benefits and for how long can I collect the benefits, if I’m
Parental benefits can be claimed by either parent or split between the two, within 52 weeks following the child’s birth
and you can collect a maximum of 35 weeks of benefits.
Are my benefits covered during the Leave of Absence?
Yes. VCH continues to pay your group benefit coverage during this 52-week period. However, employees covered
under the Provincial Paramedical Professional Collective Agreement will continue to be responsible for Long Term
Disability premiums during the leave period.
Do I have to take the full 52 weeks offered to me?
No, you may choose to end your leave at any time. As an example you may wish to return to work after taking only
the SEB paid portion of your leave.
How do I obtain a Record of Employment (ROE) for Employment Insurance Benefits?
A Records & Benefits Associate will forward a copy of your Leave Application to Payroll and a Payroll Clerk will prepare
the ROE (the Monday of “paycheque” week after your leave starts), which will be mailed to your home. Please contact
the Payroll Department at 604/875-4738 if you have any questions regarding your ROE.
Who can I contact for more information about EI (e.g. how much will I receive, where can I obtain an
Refer to blue pages of telephone directory under “Government of Canada, Human Resources Development Canada”
for the Employment Insurance Office nearest you or visit their web site at www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/ae-
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What is the Maternity Leave Supplemental Employment Benefit Plan (SEB) and who is eligible?
VCH pays a “top-up” to the EI benefits to regular employees who are on an approved maternity leave.
If I am not receiving EI benefits, would I still be eligible for the top-up?
Yes. You would still be eligible for the top-up, however, you must submit to the Payroll department for processing,
an original copy of your declination letter from EI.
How long can I receive the Maternity Leave SEB Plan benefits?
The Maternity Leave SEB Plan benefits are payable for a maximum of 17 weeks.
How much will I receive from the Maternity SEB Plan?
During the first 2 weeks of absence (i.e. the 2-week EI waiting period), VCH will pay 85% of normal weekly earnings.
For the remaining 15 weeks, you will receive the difference between 85% of your normal weekly earnings and your EI
benefits. If you have any questions regarding the calculation of the “top-up”, please contact the Payroll Department
How do I apply for the Maternity Leave SEB Plan benefits?
In order to receive your SEB plan payments, go to the Employment Insurance web site (see link above), look for
“Employment Insurance On-Line Services” and click on “My EI Information on-line”. This page should have all the
information (waiting period, start date, weekly amount) Payroll requires to process your SEB plan. Print this page
from the EI web site and fax to Payroll at 604-875-4224. Or, if you don’t have access to a computer you must submit
your acceptance letter from EI, as well as your first benefit stub, to the Payroll Department for processing (fax number
604-875-4224). Please note that it could take 2 to 3 weeks after you send these documents to Payroll before you
What deductions will be taken from the Maternity Leave SEB Plan?
Income tax, CPP premiums, Municipal Pension plan and voluntary deductions will be deducted. Employees covered
under the Provincial Paramedical Professional Collective Agreement will have a portion of the Long Term Disability
Do I receive any confirmation regarding my leave?
Yes. Your Records & Benefits Associate will send a letter to you indicating the start date and end date of your leave.
They will also send a copy of this letter to Payroll for processing payment of the “top-up”. This letter will show the
maximum 52-week leave of absence. Employees covered under the Provincial Paramedical Professional Collective
Agreement will be advised of the amount of the Long Term Disability premium to be remitted.
What happens to my vacation entitlement while on a maternity/parental leave?
Your leave period is deemed continuous for purposes of calculating and entitlement of vacation. Accruals earned
during the maternity/parental leave period may be carried over to the following calendar year, check with your
Records & Benefits Associate in regards to this. Should you wish to take vacation at the end of your leave, this must
be authorized through your department.
What do I need to do when I am ready to return to work?
You must contact your supervisor when you are ready to return to work so that he/she can submit a “Return to Work
Form” to Records & Benefits.
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While on unpaid leave, contributions to the Municipal Pension Plan cease. Should you be interested in buying back
contributions for this period, you would have to pay the employee portion and the employer will then contribute their
portion. If you are interested please contact the Payroll Department on your return. (Note: MPP does not apply to
What Happens to my Voluntary Deductions?
You may continue your transit pass/House Insurance payments via direct debit only, and United Way/Grand-a-Week
can be paid by cheque. RRSP and Savings Bonds will automatically be suspended and reinstated upon your return.
You should cancel your parking passes or charges will accrue.
Records & Benefits Department
Centennial Pavilion 1st Floor, Room 140, 855 West 12 Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
Tel# (604) 875-4202: Toll Free Tel# 1 (866) 875-5306: Fax# (604) 875-4667
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