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Leave in the event of a termination of pregnancy

If you have had a termination of pregnancy, such as a miscarriage or an abortion, you have the right to be absent from work to recover.

During an absence following a termination of pregnancy, the worker's employment relationship is protected. 

Before 20 weeks of pregnancy

If a termination of pregnancy occurs before the beginning of the 20th week of pregnancy, the worker has the right to be absent for up to 3 weeks, without pay. 

The absence may be extended only if justified by a medical certificate. 

After 20 weeks of pregnancy

If a termination of pregnancy occurs as of the first day of the 20th week of pregnancy, the worker is entitled to maternity leave, without pay, for a maximum of 20 weeks. If the miscarriage or the termination of pregnancy occurred before January 1, 2021, the leave shall end not later than 18 weeks after the event. She is also entitled to benefits under the Régime québécois d’assurance parentale (RQAP).

Note

In all cases, the length of leave remains the same if the worker was expecting twins. It is not multiplied by 2.

Notice to the employer

The worker must inform her employer in writing of her situation as soon as possible. The written notice must indicate the date she expects to return to work and be accompanied by a medical certificate.

Five-day leave

Both parents may also be entitled to 5 days' leave. This leave must be taken in the 15 days following the termination of pregnancy. If the mother is already on maternity leave, she cannot benefit from this leave.

The employer must be notified as soon as possible.

Examples

Termination of pregnancy before the beginning of the 20th week

Stephanie is 15 weeks pregnant when her pregnancy is terminated. Therefore, she has the right to be absent for up to 3 weeks, without pay. The leave may be longer if justified by her medical certificate. 

Termination of pregnancy as of the 20th week

Chloé is 24 weeks pregnant when she gives birth prematurely to a stillborn baby. Therefore, she is entitled to the 18-week maternity leave as well as the 5-day leave. Her partner, Alain, may be absent from work for 5 days. The first 2 days of this leave must be paid by the employer, regardless of the length of uninterrupted service

Laws and regulations

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