The 2018 federal budget put forth many incentives in the name of gender equality. One of the primary initiatives starting will be an added bonus for fathers, same-sex parents, and adoptive parents that will give an extra eight weeks of leave for the birth of a new child.
The extra time is specifically for parents to give their partners an opportunity to return to work. Therefore, to receive the bonus both parents are required to take time off to care for the newborn.
The new 18-month parental leave option carries no other additional bonuses and offers up to 55% of income to compensate- Quebec’s policy offers up to 70%.
The federal government is concerned there is inequality as mothers currently account for 92% of the parental leave budget.
The budget states, “providing additional weeks of benefits will help encourage greater equality when it comes to child care and improve the distribution of family and home responsibilities. It will also provide greater flexibility-particularly for mothers- to return to work sooner, if they so choose, knowing their family has the support it needs. More equitable parental leave will also help lead to more equitable hiring practices, reducing conscious and unconscious discrimination by employers.”
The incentive will be available starting in June 2019. The government expects the policy to cost $1.2 billion in the first five years and $344.7 million for each year following.