Leaves of absence (LOA)
Maternity, parental, and birth/custody Leaves of Absence
Collective agreements and leaves
- For information on general leaves of absence, refer to The City of Calgary 'Leave of Absence Policy (HR-LR-003)' and applicable collective agreements.
- The information on this page is subject to the provisions of the applicable collective agreements, where different the agreement would prevail.
- An employee who meets the eligibility criteria set out by the Province of Alberta is entitled to a number of unpaid leaves provided for under the Province of Alberta Employment Standards Code.
- All leaves of absence require pre-authorization.
- Up to 16 weeks unpaid leave for biological mothers, who are permanent employees or non-permanent employees with at least 90 days continuous service.
- Biological or adoptive parents, who have at least 90 days continuous service, are eligible for an unpaid parental leave of up to 62 weeks for the care of a newborn or adopted child.
- Standard parental – up to 40 weeks, but one parent cannot receive more than 35 weeks of standard benefits.
- Extended parental – up to 69 weeks, but one parent cannot receive more than 61 weeks of extended benefits.
- Employment Insurance has a one week waiting period.
- Parental leave may be available within 78 weeks of when the child is born or is placed with the adoptive parent.
- If The City employs both parents, they may share the leave, with the total leave not to exceed 69 weeks; parents may be granted leave simultaneously, subject to operational requirements.
Birth / Custody Leave
- This is subject to the applicable collective agreements or ‘Exempt Staff Policy (HR-LR-006)’ statement, a parent who is not already on maternity or parental leave is eligible for a 1 day paid leave for:
- attending the delivery of the child, or
- attending to the release from hospital of the spouse or domestic partner who had birth, or,
- on the day of first obtaining custody of a child who has been legally adopted.
- The terms and details of bereavement leave for union members are outlined in each union’s collective agreement, and for exempt employees in the Leave of Absence Policy. Typically, up to seven consecutive calendar days are permitted for the loss of immediate family. As of April 4, 2023, employes who experience pregnancy loss are also eligible for bereavement leave.
Maternity LOA request
- Employees must apply for maternity leave of absence within first 6 months of pregnancy by completing Request for Leave of Absence X83 form and having it approved by their supervisor. Leave may start within 13 weeks of the expected date of birth but no later than the due date or the birth of the baby
- It is to the employee's advantage to apply early so that they will be able to pay benefit premiums through payroll deductions; once the maternity leave has been approved, the leave of absence start date can commence earlier (e.g. if the baby arrives before the due date), however, the leave cannot be adjusted to a later date.
Application for employment insurance (EI) benefits
- Employees can apply for maternity EI benefits up to 10 weeks prior to the expected date of birth, provided employee is no longer working or receiving S&A. Alternatively, the employee can apply as soon as possible after the baby's birth.
- For additional information, contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218
Adding dependents to Alberta Health Care (AHC) and Extended Health & Dental
- To ensure the child is also enrolled on your extended health and dental plans contact HR Services at 403-268-5800 (Option #1 for Pensions & Benefits) or add dependent(s) through myHRconnect>Benefits>Life Events.
- AHC Dependent Addition forms are usually provided by the hospital.
- For maternity, or parental leave of absence greater than 30 calendar days, employees must prepay their share of the benefit deductions (except pension), prior to the commencement of the leave.
- Deductions may include medical, dental, LTD, group life and optional group life insurance.
- The City will pay its share of the benefits deductions for the entire leave
- For personal leaves under 30 days, employees are normally required to pay only the applicable employee deductions.
- For personal leaves longer than 30 days, employees are normally required to pay the applicable employee and employer deductions.
- If employee is a member of The City pension plan, there is a one-time opportunity to purchase the leave (up to one year) paying only the employee portion with The City providing its contribution; thereafter, the employee would pay both employee and employer contributions.
- In the year following the leave, Alberta Pension Services will send the employee a ‘letter of cost’ which provides all significant deadlines for payment in order to be eligible to purchase LOA service. The employee must return to work after the leave.
- If employee returns to work and terminates employment, application to purchase the LOA service must be made within 30 days from the date of termination.
Vacation entitlement, pay increments, service and seniority credit
- Vacation entitlement, pay increments, service and seniority credits continue to accumulate for employees on unpaid maternity or parental leaves of absence
Short term disability (STD)/health-related portion (HRP) of the maternity leave
Employees inquiring about this benefit may need to speak with a benefits subject matter expert.
Note: The health of the baby is not a factor with this benefit.
Eligibility and application process
To apply for this benefit, medical documentation (a doctor's note) must be submitted to the Benefits Liaison in HR Services via one of the following ways:
- Drop off at Human Resources : 10th Floor, Municipal Building
- Mail to: HR Benefits Liaison
HR Support Services, #8107BN
P.O. Box 2100, Stn. M
Calgary, AB T2P 2M5
- Fax: (403) 268-5590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All medical documentation must include: employee name, employee ID, baby's birth date, whether it was a natural birth or caesarean and doctor's signature.
If there are complications following delivery which extend the usual recovery period, an Attending Physician's Statement (APS) X427 is required. For IAFF Local 255 members, use Attending Physician's Statement (APS) FD 1355.
For both MEBAC and IAFF Local 255 plan, fax the APS to Homewood Health at 1-866-460-4645. The employee should also contact the Benefits Liaison so that they are aware.
Payment of the HRP benefit
Note: The following is intended as general information only, as individual cases may vary (e.g. employees on short term disability benefits or LTD prior to their leave).
- Short term disability benefits during the health-related portion of the maternity leave are paid under a Supplementary Employment Benefit (SEB) plan and cover the period of time following the birth of the baby to the day the employee would be deemed fit to return to work (usually 6 weeks if natural birth or 8 weeks if caesarean).
- Employee's EI benefit plus the amount paid by the SEB plan equal 90% of the base salary, which is the regular short term disability benefit.
- A copy of the EI statement, which shows the waiting period and weekly benefit, must be sent to HR Support Services, Corporate Payroll (8107 CP), PO Box 2100, Station M, Calgary, AB, T2P 2M5. You can also send an email to email@example.com or fax to (403) 268-5590. Adjustments to the employee's HRP benefit (if any), will be made in the next available pay period.
Premium deductions for the short-term disability or long term disability/HRP benefit
- Medical, dental, life, LTD and pension plan premiums, as well as tax and CPP are deducted from the HRP benefit.