Types of Leave Processes
There are three types of leave processes for Support Staff at the University of Calgary:
- Maternity/Adoption/Parental Leave
- Leave Without Pay
- Sessional Lay Off*
All leaves must be approved by your department and in accordance with university policies and procedures. Each of these processes are outlined below.
*Sessional Lay Off applies only to staff referred to as Sessional Employees in Article 1 of the Collective Agreement between the Governors of the University of Calgary and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Local 052.
Maternity, Adoption and Parental Leave
Nothing on this website precludes an employee from accessing the job protected leaves available to them under the Alberta Employment Standards Code nor does it prevail in the event of an inconsistency with the provisions of the Collective Agreement between the Governors of the University of Calgary and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Local 052.
Preparing for a Maternity, Adoption or Parental Leave is a simple four step process. To ensure commencement of benefits (as applicable) it is important to understand both the University and Government entitlements and the processes that support both.
Step 1: Submit Time Off Request Form to Manager
The Time Off Request form is used to initiate a request for Maternity, Adoption or Parental Leave. The form should be submitted to your manager or supervisor at least four weeks in advance of your last day worked. Your manager will review the request and submit it to HR. This will initiate the process to begin Maternity, Adoption or Parental Leave. To coincide with Employment Insurance (EI) payable weeks and avoid any loss of EI benefits, staff should commence Maternity, Adoption or Parental Leave, when possible, on a Monday.
Step 2: Complete Benefits Directive
After receiving the Time Off Request form from your manager, HR will send you a Maternity, Adoption or Parental Leave package 2 weeks before the start of your leave. The package may include a letter outlining your compensation during the first 18 weeks of leave (as applicable) as well as a Benefits Directive for you to review and completion. The Benefits Directive allows you to determine your participation in benefit programs while on leave. All non-compulsory benefits during the Maternity, Adoption or Parental Leave will be terminated if the Benefits Directive is not signed and returned to HR.
Step 3: Start application for EI Benefits Online
You can initiate your online application for EI benefits prior to the leave period. This online application can only be completed once Service Canada has electronically received your Record of Employment (ROE) from the university. Your ROE will be produced and electronically sent to Service Canada on commencement of your leave.
Step 4: Complete EI Application
You should complete your EI online application through the Service Canada website. This will commence your Maternity, Adoption or Parental EI benefits through the government of Canada’s Employment Insurance program.
In order for an employee to add their new dependent to their benefit plan, the employee must complete the benefit change form attached to the applicable leave package. This should occur within 31 days of the date of birth or custody of an adopted child.
At least four weeks prior to the expected return date, an employee should provide written notice to their manager or supervisor of their intent to return. The manager will notify HR of the expected return to work date and you will be returned back to regular status effective that date.
Frequently Asked Questions
A pregnant Regular, Sessional or Limited Term employee who has been employed at the University of Calgary for at least 90 days is entitled to unpaid maternity leave for a period of eighteen weeks commencing any time during the twelve weeks immediately before the estimated date of delivery.
An employee whose pregnancy ends prematurely for reasons other than a live birth within sixteen weeks of the estimated due date shall continue to be eligible for maternity leave.
An employee who takes maternity leave must take at least six weeks of leave immediately following the delivery of the child unless:
- the employee and the board agree to a lesser period, and
- the employee submits medical documentation to Staff Wellness confirming that the resumption of work will not compromise the employee’s health.
A Top Up provision is provided for eligible employees for the purpose of income replacement for a parent staying home to care for a child in the first year of life or first year of adoption.
To be eligible for Top Up benefits an employee must:
- be a birth parent or adoptive parent on an approved maternity or parental leave
- be the primary caregiver for the child
- have completed six months of continuous service as a Regular (OP or FXT), Sessional or Limited Term employee.
Details are as follows:
- Top Up is paid during the eighteen weeks of an approved leave to bring an employees income up to 95% of normal salary.
- During the Employment Insurance (EI) waiting period (one week): eligible employee receives 95% of normal salary
- During the remaining period of the leave (seventeen weeks): eligible employee receives Top Up benefit based on the Sick Leave provisions, EI benefits, plus a percentage of income from the university.
- Benefit cost sharing remains the same
- Employee may retain or cancel benefits by signing the Benefit Directive
- Pension contributions are mandatory during the eighteen week Top Up period of Maternity or Parental Leave
- An employee is not eligible to receive more than eighteen weeks of Top Up benefits in one year.
- Where both parents are employees, their combined Top Up benefits many not exceed eighteen weeks.
- Part-time employees will receive pro-rata Top Up benefits based on their normal hours worked.
What university Parental/Adoptive Leave benefits are available?
Birth Parent or Adoptive Parent
A Regular (OP or FXT), Sessional, Limited Term, or Recurring Part-Time employee who has been employed at the university for at least nienty continuous days, and who has or will have the actual care or custody of the newborn or newly adopted child, is entitled to unpaid Parental Leave for a period of up to sixty-two weeks within the seventy-eight weeks after the child's birth.
The employee shall provide proof of birth or adoption of the child and give their manager or supervisor reasonable notice in writing of the date on which the leave is to start. The date of the return to work shall be established before the start of the leave.
Where both parents are employees, the combined total Parental Leave can be restricted to sixty-two weeks.
Employees who are in benefit and pension eligible positions will be offered the opportunity in the Benefit Directive form to extend their benefits (at their own cost) and continue to pay into the pension plan for their Parental Leave. If employees elect to opt out of the pension plan for their Parental Leave, they will be offered an opportunity to buy back their pensionable service upon their return to work. The University can only match pension contributions to a maximum of one year of leave. For further information on extending benefits or continuing pension contributions, contact the Total Rewards team at email@example.com.
Parental Leave taken in combination with either Maternity Leave or Adoption Leave cannot exceed seventy-eight weeks in total.
If an employee is eligible to receive the extended parental employment insurance benefit, they can request an extended Parental Leave from the university. This request is subject to approval by the employee’s manager, but will not be unreasonably denied.
The Time Off Request form is used to initiate a request for Leave of Absence. The form should be submitted to the employee’s manager or supervisor at least four weeks in advance of the last day worked, and employees must include their expected return to work date when completing this form.
The university is not involved in the administration of Employment Insurance benefits. Employees should consult with Service Canada to determine whether they are able to alter their Employment Insurance claim.
All employees are entitled to request an extension to their approved Parental Leave. These requests will be evaluated by the employee’s manager on a case by case basis, in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Collective Agreement between the Governors of the University of Calgary and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees. If you choose to change to eighteen months of leave, you must indicate this prior to beginning Parental Leave, otherwise you will be moved to a Leave Without Pay.
Top Up Benefits will continue to be administered over one 18 week period for eligible employees, based on the normal Employment Insurance Maternity or Parental benefits (i.e. 55% of average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount).
Employees may return to work prior to their previously stated return date by providing at least 4 weeks’ written notice of their intended return to work, although employees are encouraged to advise their manager or supervisor of this request with as much advance notice as possible.
Employees who are in benefit and pension eligible positions will be offered the opportunity in the Benefits Directive form to extend their benefits (at their own cost) and continue to pay into the pension plan for their extended Parental Leave. If employees elect to opt out of the pension plan for their extended Parental Leave, they will be offered an opportunity to buy back their pensionable service upon their return to work. The university can only match pension contributions to a maximum of 1 year of leave.
For further information on extending benefits or continuing pension contributions, contact the Total Rewards team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service Canada EI Benefits
Find Leave details from Service Canada.
- Apply online
- Apply in person to a Service Canada Centre
There is a one week waiting period for EI benefits to be processed and typically another week until the employee received the first EI deposit
Leave Without Pay
Leave Without pay* is considered to be a leave between six days and six months. The Leave Without Pay process involves three steps—preparing for your unpaid leave, returning to work once your elected leave period has ended and finally, reviewing your status once you’ve returned to work. Approval of a Leave Without Pay is granted at the discretion of the employee’s manager or supervisor.
A leave without pay of five days or less should be administered on the employee’s timesheet using the Time Reporting Code LSU.
A number of unpaid legislative leaves are available for employees with 90 days of continuous service. You may be eligible for Leaves Without Pay pursuant to the Employment Standards Code including but not limited to:Compassionate Care Leave (up to 27 weeks annually) Personal and Family Responsibility Leave (up to 5 days annually) Long-Term Illness and Injury Leave (up to 16 weeks annually) Domestic Violence Leave (up to 10 days annually) Citizenship Ceremony Leave (up to ½ day annually) Critical Illness of a Child Leave (up to 36 weeks annually) Critical Illness of an Adult Leave (up to 16 weeks annually) Death or Disappearance of a Child Leave (up to 52 weeks annually)
Some legislative leaves listed above have corresponding EI benefits that you may be eligible to receive. Further information and eligibility criteria for EI benefits are available on the Service Canada website.
An employee considering a legislative Leave Without Pay should consult with their HR Services Partner or Advisor.
Step 1: Submit Time Off Request Form to Manager
The Time Off Request form is used to initiate a request for Leave Without Pay. The form should be submitted to your manager or supervisor in 4 to 6 weeks in advance of your last day worked. Your manager will review and approve the request and submit it to HR. This will initiate the process to begin an unpaid leave.
Step 2: Complete Benefits Directive Form
HR will send you a Benefits Directive form for you to review and complete. The Benefits Directive allows you to determine your participation in benefits programs while on your unpaid leave. All benefits during the leave period will be terminated if the Benefits Directive form is not signed and returned to HR.
At least four weeks prior to the expected return date an employee should provide written notice of that date to their manager or supervisor. The manager will notify HR of the expected return to work date and the employee will be returned back to regular status effective that date.
Sessional Lay Off
The Sessional Lay Off processes involves three steps—preparing for the lay off period, returning to work once your lay off period has ended and finally, reviewing your status once you’ve returned to work.
Step One: Review, Sign and Return Seasonal Layoff Letter
Your manager will notify you and HR of your Sessional Layoff period. Once received, HR will produce and send you your Sessional Layoff Package. Review the package, elect your benefits during the lay off period, and return the signed copy of the layoff notice to HR. All benefits will be terminated during the layoff period if the layoff package is not returned to HR.
Step 2: Apply Online for EI Benefits
Prior to the commencement of leave the employee may also initiate an online EI application with Service Canada. Service Canada will be provided a Record of Employment (ROE) by University of Calgary Payroll at the commencement of the employee’s leave.
Your department will notify HR on the day that you return to work and you will be returned back to regular status effective that date.