How will these changes apply to Québec residents?
Québec residents will be eligible for the non-discretionary extended parental leave. Under the Québec Parental Insurance Program (QPIP) and the new Collective Agreement however, parental allowance would only be payable under the standard parental benefits option. The reason for this is that to be eligible for a parental allowance, lawyers must provide proof that they have applied for and are in receipt of QPIP parental, paternity or adoption benefits. Parental benefits are only available for 32 weeks with the QPIP Basic Plan, and 25 weeks with the QPIP Special plan.
Improvements to QPIP parental benefits have been proposed in Québec Bill 174, but have not yet been adopted.
Under the new Collective Agreement, lawyers residing in Québec will be eligible to receive a top-up of the difference between 93% of their weekly rate of pay and their QPIP benefits, less any other monies earned, for each week that they receive QPIP parental, adoption or paternity benefits.
In Québec, certain parents are eligible for five weeks of QPIP paternity benefits. These parents could be eligible to receive additional parental allowance for this time period. You can find out more about QPIP paternity benefits here.
There will also be an additional 2 weeks of parental benefits available to lawyers who have received the full 32 weeks of standard parental benefits or divided them with another parent who has received the full 5 weeks of QPIP paternity benefits. The maximum combined shared maternity and parental allowances payable will not exceed 57 weeks.