Employment Insurance Parental Benefits Change

Employment Insurance (EI) Parental Benefits are now more flexible as a result of changes introduced in December 2017. Parents with a newborn or newly adopted child may now choose to apply for Standardor Extended EI Parental Benefits. 

Standard benefits provide a higher benefit for a shorter period of time.  Extended benefits offer a longer period of EI at a lower benefit rate. Either of these benefits can be taken by one parent or shared by both. The table below summarizes these and the proposed new benefits.

More changes are coming in June 2019!

The Federal Government has announced a new program to support equal parenting and greater flexibility for an earlier return to work, particularly for mothers. A new Parental Sharing Program will be available when both parents agree to share parental leave. Standard EI Parental Benefits will be extended by 5 weeks and parents choosing the Extended EI Benefits option will be able to access an additional 8 weeks of benefits.

Enabling Provincial legislation is being prepared and MUNFA is working to improve these benefits in the MUN/MUNFA Collective Agreement.

EI Parental Benefit Summary Table


EI Parental Benefits

Current Standard Benefit 2019 Shared Standard Current Expanded Benefit 2019 Shared Expanded
# of weeks in total 35 40 61 69
# of parents 1 or 2 2 1 or 2 2
Share of weekly earnings 55% 55% 33% 33%
Max. benefit/week $547 $547* $328 $328*
How shared Any Min. 5 weeks leave per parent Any Min. 8 weeks leave per parent

* Based on 2018 rates.

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