Employer top-ups

By Katherine Marshall

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In 2008, among mothers with paid jobs who received federal Employment Insurance (EI) or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) maternity and parental leave benefits after birth, 20% reported collecting employer 'top-up' payments.

Top-up payments averaged $300 per week and lasted an average of 19 weeks—suggesting that most employer plans cover only the maternity leave portion of public benefits.

Public sector employees were significantly more likely to receive a top-up and for a longer average period of time (48% and 22 weeks) than those in the private sector (8% and 12 weeks).

Working for a company with a staff of over 500, being employed in Quebec and having an hourly wage of $20 or more were also associated with the receipt of employer top-ups.

Almost all mothers (96%) with top-up benefits returned or planned to return to their same employers within 18 months of birth, compared with 77% of mothers with EI/QPIP benefits only and 46% of mothers with no benefits.

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