Canada’s ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ parental leave coming three months early, in March

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OTTAWA — Soon-to-be-parents will be able to access extra weeks of leave three months earlier than expected.

This year’s federal budget announced additional weeks of “use-it-or-lose-it” leave for non-birthing parents.

The federal government initially set June 2019 as the start date — but now the Liberals say parents can become eligible for the extra weeks in mid-March.

Only parents whose children are born or adopted after March 17 will be able to take advantage of the additional weeks.

The Liberals say moving the date of implementation up by three months could benefit more than 24,000 people.

Parents would get five additional weeks if they’ve opted for the traditional 12-month parental leave, or eight weeks under the new 18-month option introduced late last year.

The Canadian Press