Policy Statement

The City of Toronto provides parental leaves to eligible employees in accordance with the Employment Standards Act.


This policy applies to all non-union employees and shall be administered in accordance with the Employment Standards Act.

Parental Leave for Bargaining Unit Employees is available in accordance with their respective Collective Agreements.


Bargaining Unit Article
Local 79 Full Time Unit 17.03 and 17.05
Local 79 Unit B – Part time 17.03 and 17.05
Local 79 Long Term Care Homes Unit PT 20.03 and 20.05
Local 79 Part-Time Recreation Workers 15.03
Local 416 24.03 and 24.05
TPFFA Local 3888 23.03


Note: EI benefits provided by the federal government and weeks of leave mandated by provincial legislation, referred to in this policy, are applicable to parental leaves taken for children born or coming into care on or after January 1, 2021.



For the purpose of this policy, employment standards legislation defines parent as:

  • a natural or adoptive parent
  • a person who is in a relationship of some permanence with a parent of a child and who intends to treat the child as his or her own


A birth mother who has taken a pregnancy leave is entitled to up to 61 weeks of parental leave. A father, or any non-birth parent is entitled to up to 63 weeks of parental leave. The leave is provided to care for a child who has come into the care, custody or control of a parent for the first time.

A birth mother must begin her parental leave when her pregnancy leave ends.

A father or any other non-birth parent must begin their parental leave no later than 78 weeks after the birth or after the child first comes into their custody, care or control.

Employees are encouraged to provide as much notice as possible before taking parental leave. They must give at least two weeks before the start of the leave.

Employees must give the city notice of when they plan to end the leave and if they wish to change the return date to an earlier or later time.

If employees wish to extend the period of their parental leave, they must apply for a childcare leave prior to the end of their parental leave.

An employee returning from parental leave will return to their former position or a comparable position.

Any employee who decides not to return to work after parental leave, must give the city at least four weeks notice of their intention to resign their employment.

Salary & Benefits

Payment during Parental Leave

Employees who are eligible for parental benefits under the Employment Insurance Act may collect benefits for up to 61 weeks for a birth mother or 63 weeks for a non-birth parent.

The city will pay a top-up equal to the difference between the employment insurance benefit, plus any other earnings, and 85% of the employee’s regular pay for up to 35 weeks of the parental leave. Employees who take a parental leave between 35 weeks and 63 weeks will receive a top-up equal to the total dollar value of the 35 week leave option, spread out equally over the number of weeks taken.

The decision to take a 35 week or 63 week parental leave will be made at the beginning of the pregnancy leave, and cannot be subsequently changed.  An employee can choose to return early from their parental leave without adjustments made to the parental leave payments already received.

For children born prior to January 1, 2021, the city will pay a top-up equal to the difference between the employment insurance benefit, plus any other earnings, and 75% of the employee’s regular pay for the duration of the parental leave up to 61 or 63 weeks.

Employees must provide proof of the employment insurance payment to payroll.

Birth mothers who had a two week waiting period for top-up payments for their pregnancy leave will receive top-up payments for their parental leave without an additional two week waiting period.

Non-birth parents will receive parental leave top-up payments after a two week waiting period.

Part-time employees are paid on the same basis as full time employees but the pay is pro-rated.


Basic benefits coverage continues during parental leave for employees eligible for benefits. Employees are responsible for premiums that they would normally pay for, such as group life insurance.

Benefits coverage for part-time employees continues to be pro-rated.

Service and eligibility for benefits, including sick pay accrual (where applicable) continue to accrue during parental leave. However, the period of leave does not count towards completion of the probationary period.

An employee’s vacation entitlement is not affected by the parental leave.

If an employee wants to maintain pension service credits they must pay the employee’s contributions for the duration of the leave. The city will match these contributions.

Approved by

City Council

Date Approved

July 28, 2020

Originally Approved

July 29, 1999 by Senior Management Team

Last Revised

January 8, 2021

Related Information

City Council Decision EX15.3 – July 28, 2020
Pregnancy Leave and Accommodation for Pregnant Employees
Childcare and Eldercare Leave
Part XIV Employment Standards Act RSO 2000.