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Hope you don't mind me jumping in from April, but I just wanted to clarify a couple of items:
FMLA has to run concurrently with any other leave program. So, even if you have 3-4 weeks (or however long) paid by your employer, you still only get a TOTAL of 12 weeks. The first several weeks would be paid, if you have the time to do so or if company policy allows, and then the rest would be unpaid. FMLA is not required to be paid, but most employers will make you use any sick/vacation/earned time balances before you go into unpaid status.
Again, if I understand correctly, even in CA where they offer a paid family leave, FMLA is only 12 weeks total, and the PFL that CA uses has to run concurrently with federal FMLA. Therefore, you would still only get 12 weeks off. The only piece I'm not positive of is the 4 weeks beforehand, but it would seem logical to me that if you took 4 weeks beforehand that it would still fall under federal FMLA, which would only leave you a total of 8 weeks left once the baby is born. Like I said, I'm not certain on the 4 weeks of disability before delivery, but everything I can find about the PFL says that it is running at the same time as FMLA leave.
FMLA protects your job for up to 12 weeks. It's not paid time off or separate leave that you can use. It just protects your job while you are off work. It would be up to your employer whether you used sick leave, vacation or were not paid during that time period.
I strongly recommend taking all 12 weeks if you can. I did with DD and will do the same with this baby. It really took all 12 weeks to feel ready to return to work.
I am taking as much time as i'm allowed, they will hold my job for 12 weeks, but I would love to take 16 weeks off. You never get that time back and work will always be waiting for you : ) It really does go by fast.
Oh I was wrong with my numbers.. I thought parental leave was 32 weeks... although it's EI, so long as you go back to work after the year many employers including all provincial and federal gov. positions top up your pay to something like 93% Because we are a single income family we couldn't afford for DH to stay home on only 55% but with his top up AND the tax breaks he really only misses out on overtime pay when staying home!
There are also all kinds of leave options surrounding still birth and late term miscarriage. And ways to share leave with a spouse or partner. It's really a pretty good system if you ask me!
I have to say, I definitely love our system ANd yeah, parental leave is 37 weeks, though only 35 of it is paid by EI.
My current employer doesn't top up, sadly, though my last one did. Though I've heard you have to be careful of the topups...the EI is taxed at a lower rate, and the top ups are too..so you may end up having to pay some back at tax time!!
Michelle & David - WTTC with PCOS
DD - Kaia, May 9, 2013
Yeah, they manage to balance it all out once you're back to work, but while at a reduced pay I think it is nice not to worry about the tax part of it.... Also you can get into trouble with top ups if you quit, or don't go back to working at that position.... a friend had to pay back something like six grand because she changed jobs at the end of the year.
Isn't there some legislation too that says you can take another 2 years unpaid, but still have a job when you go back? Maybe it never came into effect... could have been an election promise or something...
Hrm, I haven't heard of that at all, and it's definitely nowhere on the gov't of alberta pages where I did all my research. I can't imagine taking another 2 years off though. My plan right now is to take my year off, go back to work and then depending where we're at, start TTCing for our second...so I need to be back at work to start working towards mat leave for #2! (Then will probably turn SAHM if we can afford it!)
Take all the time you get! With my DD, I had 3 weeks off (paid) and two (unpaid). So I took a month off. I had vagina; birth so I healed in two-three weeks (had some tears and stiches etc) but it was a very tough transition to leave baby
With this one, I am due mid May so it's the last week of work, I am a teacher so I automatically have the summer off.
DD born in September 2011
Baby due in May 2013