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Pregnancy & Subsequent Parental Leave

According to the Employment Standards Act (ESA), a birth mother who has at least 13 weeks of employment is eligible for 17 weeks of pregnancy leave and an additional 35 (standard) or 61 (extended) weeks of parental leave. Please note that the election of a standard or extended leave option must be made prior to the commencement of an employee’s leave.

Ryerson pregnancy and subsequent parental leave sub plan top-up

Ryerson will pay a supplementary unemployment benefit (sub plan) to "top-up" your employment insurance.

In order to be eligible for Ryerson’s sub plan top-ups, an employee must be in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits.

There are two components to a pregnancy and subsequent parental leave: the length of time you can be on a leave of absence and the length of time you will receive income during your leave of absence. Based on Employment Insurance regulations and the Employment Standards Act, in some cases entitlement to income may not span the entire duration of the leave.

The top-up payment for standard leaves is paid according to the following schedule:

Leave type Length EI benefits Ryerson sub-plan top-up
Pregnancy leave (Waiting period) First 1 week* (waiting period) None 93% of your pay
Pregnancy leave Next 15 weeks 55% of pay to a maximum of $537 gross/week EI benefits + top-up amount = 93% of your pay
Ryerson parental leave 4 weeks 55% of pay to a maximum of $537 gross/week EI benefits + top-up amount = 93% of your pay
Continued parental leave Next 31 weeks 55% of pay to a maximum of $537 gross/week None

*In January 2017 the Employment Insurance waiting period was reduced from 2 weeks to 1. The effect that this change has on Ryerson's SUB payments is currently being reviewed and will be updated as soon as possible

For employees on a term appointment, sub plan top-up payments from Ryerson will cease on the end date of their appointment unless the appointment is extended.

Employment insurance details

The table below outlines the process for initiating pregnancy leave.

Contact Details When do I contact them?
Your chair/director and HR client services

Note: Any additional inquiries that you may have regarding your pregnancy should be directed to HR Client Services.


  • As soon as possible, but no later than four weeks before you intend to begin their leave.
  • If the baby is born prior to the Start of Leave Date then please inform HR Client Services Advisor as the start date will be the date the baby is born.
  • Please advise your chair/director; HR client service advisor; and pensions and benefits if there is any change to your original leave dates.
Service Canada 
  • Register online with the My Service Canada Account online service, external link.
  • Your Record of Employment (ROE) will be issued by HR. One copy will be sent to your address on file, and one copy will be sent electronically to Service Canada.
  • Once your ROE is received by Service Canada, you will receive a benefit statement with the amount of EI benefits you will receive. Forward your benefit statement to your HR Client Services Advisor and your top-up payment will be processed. 
  • For information regarding EI claims, login to your My Service Canada Account, external link

  • You may begin a claim for pregnancy benefits up to eight weeks before a child is born but no later than the birth of the child.

Note: A delay in application will delay receiving your benefits. 

HR Pension and Benefits Unit
  • Once HR receives your intention to take pregnancy and subsequent parental leave, the pension and benefits team will send you an election form that will detail the cost to continue your coverage for any benefit that you pay a portion of the premiums i.e. Supplemental Life Insurance and Voluntary Accident Insurance.
  • You will also receive pension “buy-back” costing that will include a pension calculation that will indicate how much service is available for purchase and how much it will cost to purchase the service. You will have the option to buy or decline the "buyback" of pension service.
Note: Your group benefits will continue during your leave.
  • No action is required by you until you receive forms from HR Pension and Benefits.

Employment Insurance is federally regulated and provides income during your leave. To qualify for EI benefits, the Employment Insurance Act requires at least 600 hours of insurable employment in the 52 week period preceding the claim or since your last claim for employment insurance benefits.

Parents can also choose to split or share parental leave benefits, if both parents are eligible. If the benefits are split, only one parent will need to serve a two-week waiting period.

You can begin your pregnancy leave, as per ESA, no earlier than 17 weeks before the expected date of birth. You may begin a claim for pregnancy benefits, as per EI, up to eight weeks before a child is born but no later than the birth of the child.

To prevent any delays in processing your claim and top-up payments from Ryerson, you must apply for employment insurance no later than the birth of your child .

For employees who also take pregnancy leave, parental leave begins when the pregnancy leave ends. Your parental leave must begin and end within 52 weeks from the time the child is born.

Benefits and pension details

Your group benefits, including extended health care and dental care coverage, basic life insurance, long term disability insurance and travel accident insurance will continue during your leave.

Charges for a semi-private or private hospital room are covered under the extended health care plan. Please provide your contract number 25180 and your employee number when completing your hospital accommodation form. In most cases, you will have to pay first and have the amount reimbursed by completing a PDF fileSun Life extended health claim form.

For any benefits that you pay a portion of the premiums (for example supplemental life insurance and voluntary accident insurance), HR pension and benefits will send you an election form, including the costs to continue your coverage during your leave.

Please complete sections A and D of the PDF fileSun Life group benefits enrolment form and forward it to HR pension and benefits within 30 days of your child’s birth.

Pension deductions will stop once you commence your pregnancy/parental leave. The RRPP allows you to continue pension membership during your leave through pension buy-back.

Upon receiving notification of your pregnancy/parental leave HR pension and benefits will prepare a pension calculation which will indicate how much service is available for purchase and how much it will cost to purchase the service.

You will have the option to buy or decline the buy-back of pension service. Buy-backs are usually payable in 12 monthly installments (or number of months you are on leave) with the first cheque due on the first day of the month following receipt of the calculation.

The cost of buying back a pregnancy/parental leave is equal to the contributions you would normally have made had you not been on leave. Your contributions are based on deemed earnings, which is the salary you were earning immediately before your leave.

The decision to purchase service is voluntary. If you choose not to purchase the service while on a leave, then you will receive credited service only for the actual time you contributed to the plan, and will lose the credited service during the period of your leave. If you choose not to purchase the service, the opportunity to do so is lost.

Additional information

Vacation credits will continue to accrue while on pregnancy/parental leave.

You may use some or all of your vacation credits before you start your leave. You may also use some or all of your vacation credits prior to your return from leave as long as you inform your department and it has been approved in advance.

It is expected that all vacation, whether used before or after your leave, is posted and approved by your supervisor on the eHR absence management system prior to the start of your leave.

Employees should be mindful of their vacation accrual and work with their leaders to keep their vacation balance below the allowable maximum (two years’ worth).

If you would like to suspend your parking deductions for the duration of your pregnancy/parental leave or if you have any questions regarding your parking space while on your leave, please contact Parking Services at 416-979-5008. You will also need to contact the same number to arrange to have your parking deductions/space reinstated when you return from your leave.

Generally, payments deducted from your pay that fall under Ryerson donations are suspended for the duration of your leave and resume upon return from pregnancy/parental leave. If you would like to stop your donations at any time, please submit a written request to University Advancement who will forward the deduction cancellation to Human Resources. 

One month's notice is required in order for payroll deductions to be stopped. If you would like to suspend or cancel your RAC dues/membership, please contact their customer service representatives at or 416-979-5096.

For more information

For more information on pregnancy and subsequent parental leave, contact HR Client Services.

For more information on employment insurance, visit the Service Canada Employment Insurance website, external link.