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Parental leave

Parental leave without pay of up to 65 weeks is provided for the following people:

  • father and mother of a newborn, including one born through surrogacy (surrogate mother)
  • person who adopts a child

During their leave, their employment relationship with their employer is protected. They may be entitled to benefits under the Régime québécois d’assurance parentale (RQAP).

Beginning and end of parental leave

In the case of a birth, parental leave may begin the week of the child’s birth. It is in addition to the following leaves:

In a surrogacy situation, parental leave may begin no earlier than the week in which the child is entrusted to the person or the week in which the person leaves work to travel outside Quebec for the child to be entrusted to them.

In the case of an adoption, each adoptive parent is also entitled to this leave. The leave may begin no earlier than the week in which the child is entrusted to their adoptive parents or when the parents leave work to travel outside Quebec to pick up their child.

Parental leave ends no later than 85 weeks after the child’s birth or 85 weeks after the week the child was entrusted to the worker in the case of an adoption or surrogacy.

In the case of a same sex couple, both parents are entitled to parental leave if the relationship between the child and their fathers or mothers was established in the birth certificate or adoption judgment.

At the parent’s request, parental leave may be suspended, divided or extended if their health or their child’s health requires it. In other situations, at the parent’s request and if the employer agrees, the leave may be divided into weeks.

Informing the employer

The worker must give their employer verbal or written notice specifying the date their leave will begin and the date they expect to return to work at least 3 weeks before they go on leave. This period may be shorter if the worker must stay with the child, the mother or the person who gave birth because of their state of health.

Return to work

When they return to work, the employer must reinstate them in their regular position and give them the wages and benefits they would have been entitled to had they remained at work.

The parent may return to work before the date stated in their written notice. They must give the employer new notice, in writing, 3 weeks before the date of their return.

If their position was abolished while they were on leave, they retain the same rights and privileges they would have been entitled to had they remained at work.

If the parent does not return to work on the scheduled date, their employer may consider them to have resigned. However, it is preferable for the employer to try to contact the person before the end of their leave to confirm their return date.

Part time or intermittent return

The parent may return to work on a part time or intermittent basis if their employer agrees. The maximum length of parental leave is still 65 weeks and the leave must end no later than 85 weeks after the birth or adoption.

For example, if the employer agrees to a return to work for 2 days a week during parental leave, the person is still considered to be on parental leave during this time.

Laws and regulations

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