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How to apply for the For a Safe Maternity Experience Program

If you are a pregnant or breastfeeding worker and would like to apply for the For a Safe Maternity Experience Program, here are the steps you must take.

Consult a physician

First, you must consult a physician if you think that physical hazards are creating working conditions that are unsafe for you or your child. This can be your attending physician or the physician in the establishment where you work. During your consultation with the physician, you must:

  • explain your working conditions and your concerns about your pregnancy, for example, describe your workplace, the tasks you do or the products you use
  • ask them to complete the Preventive Withdrawal and Reassignment Certificate for a Pregnant or Breastfeeding Worker (in French only) if they think that your working conditions are unsafe
  • have them specify any changes that could be made to your job to make it safe or ask them to make suggestions to your employer to facilitate your reassignment
  • make sure the physician consults the physician in charge of health services in the establishment where you work or the physician designated by the Direction de la santé publique. This consultation is mandatory for the certificate to be valid.

Give the certificate to your employer

Once you have your certificate signed by a physician and give it to your employer, this is your request for reassignment. Based on the certificate and an assessment of your job, the CNESST will determine if you are eligible for the For a Safe Maternity Experience Program.

Sign up for direct deposit to receive the income replacement indemnity from the CNESST if you are on preventive withdrawal

If reassignment to another position or other duties is not possible, a pregnant or breastfeeding worker may be entitled to preventive withdrawal. The CNESST pays an income replacement indemnity to workers on preventive withdrawal. Signing up for direct deposit makes payment of the indemnity easier. You can sign up for direct deposit through Mon Espace CNESST (in French only) for workers or by completing the Direct deposit form (in French only).

Make sure the CNESST is informed if your delivery date changes

If your delivery date changes, this may affect payment of the income replacement indemnity. Your physician must inform the CNESST no later than 28 calendar days before the date indicated on the certificate. You can also send us a document signed by your physician attesting to the change of date. This document must also be received no later than 28 calendar days before the date indicated on the certificate.

Obtain a new certificate for the breastfeeding period

If you would like to be reassigned or placed on preventive withdrawal while you are breastfeeding your child because there are chemical contaminants in your workplace for example, you must consult a physician again and obtain a new certificate to attest that your work is unsafe for the child you are breastfeeding. You must give this new certificate to your employer.


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