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Act respecting labour standards Chapter IV - Larbour standards (Section 39.1 to 97)

Chapter IV - Larbour standards (Section 39.1 to 97)

Division V.1 - Family or parental leave and absences (Section 79.7 to 81.17.6)

Section 81.4

Maternity leave

A pregnant employee is entitled to a maternity leave without pay of not more than 18 consecutive weeks unless, at her request, the employer consents to a longer maternity leave.


The employee may spread the maternity leave as she wishes before or after the expected date of delivery. However, where the maternity leave begins on the week of delivery, that week shall not be taken into account in calculating the maximum period of 18 consecutive weeks.

1990, c. 73, s. 34; 2002, c. 80, s. 33.


In principle, the maternity leave lasts 18 uninterrupted weeks, without pay. With the employer’s consent, the employee has the possibility to take advantage of a maternity leave lasting more than 18 weeks.

She may spread the leave as she wishes before or after the date of delivery. However, the leave must be taken continuously, subject to section 81.5 ALS, which provides for its suspension when the child is hospitalized during the leave.

For the calculation of the 18 weeks, the week of delivery is not taken into account if the maternity leave begins that week. This will be the case if the employee remains on the job until the time of delivery. The leave will begin on the first day of the following week.