As of December 3, 2017, Employment Insurance (EI) rules have changed to allow you to start your maternity leave earlier. You also now have the choice to spread out your EI parental benefits over a longer timeframe, at a lower benefit rate.
You are now able to receive EI maternity benefits earlier, up to 12 weeks before your due date. You also have two options to choose from for your EI parental benefits:
- Standard EI parental benefits – up to 35 weeks, paid at 55 per cent of your average weekly insurable earnings, up to the maximum of $547 a week for 2018.
- Extended EI parental benefits – up to 61 weeks, paid at 33 per cent of your average weekly insurable earnings, up to the maximum of $328 a week for 2018.
More information around the changes to Employment Insurance is available on the federal Employment Insurance website.