I’m pregnant. What are my rights as a worker?
If you're going to have a baby, Ontario law says that you can take time off work without losing your job. This is called taking a leave.
For information about pregnancy leave, which is for new birth parents and adopting parents, see I’m going to be a parent. What are my rights as a worker? Some people call this maternity leave.
Parental leave is for new parents, including parents who adopt.
If someone who gave birth takes parental leave, it can last up to 61 weeks.
If you started working for your employer at least 13 weeks before your due date, your employer must let you take pregnancy leave.
Length of pregnancy leave
Usually, you have the right to take up to 17 weeks of pregnancy leave.
But if your pregnancy ends in a miscarriage or stillbirth, your leave continues at least 12 weeks after the miscarriage or stillbirth. This could make your leave longer than 17 weeks.
Parental leave for a person who gave birth can be up to 61 weeks.
So if you get both, you can get up to 78 weeks of leave.
Getting paid during pregnancy leave
Ontario's does not say that your employer has to pay you during pregnancy leave. But if you've worked enough hours to qualify for Employment Insurance (EI), you may be able to get EI benefits for some of the time you're on leave.
When pregnancy leave begins
Usually, the earliest you can start your pregnancy leave is 17 weeks before your baby is due. But if your baby is born earlier than that, you must start your leave on the date of the birth.
And you must start your pregnancy leave no later than your due date. If your baby is born before your due date, you must start your leave on the date of the birth.