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Suspension, division or extension of leave

When a newborn child has to be hospitalized, maternity, paternity and parental leave may be suspended if the parent chooses to return to work temporarily during the hospitalization. In such cases, an agreement must be reached with the employer.

These leaves are normally taken on a continuous basis. The parent may divide these leaves into weeks in some specific situations.

For example, if the child's hospitalization is short and the parent wants to stay with the child, the leave may be divided into weeks, but not days.


Hugo's wife gave birth to their first child last week. Hugo had agreed with his employer that as soon as the baby was born, he would begin his 5-week paternity leave.

But, bad news, Hugo's son has to go back to hospital. Although the leave must be taken on a continuous basis, Hugo asks his employer to allow him to return to work and continue his paternity leave when his child comes home. Because Hugo's child is hospitalized, his paternity leave may be suspended.

Situations that allow the worker to divide the leave

  • Hospitalization of a newborn
  • Serious illness or accident of one of the parents or one of their parents
  • Serious illness or accident of a person for whom one of them acts as a caregiver
  • Serious injury to their minor child as a result of a criminal offence
  • Disappearance or death of their minor child
  • Suicide of the spouse, father, mother or their child of full age
  • Death of the spouse or their child of full age as a result of a criminal offence

Extension of leave

Maternity, paternity and parental leave can be extended if the health of the newborn requires it.

In all cases, the worker must provide a medical certificate to the employer before the end of their leave.

Maternity leave can also be extended if the mother's condition requires it. The leave will be extended for the length of time indicated on the medical certificate.

During the extension of the leave, without pay, the employment relationship with the employer is protected.

Laws and regulations

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