top of page

Parental Leave as a Resident

Residency unions have advocated for different supports for residents considering parental leave. Details can be found below.

Maternity/Parental leave is provided by the federal government and applies to all residents across Provinces 

Maternity/Parental Leave EI Benefits

  • You must have worked for 600 hours in the 52 weeks prior to the claim to be eligible for benefits 

    • The determination of these hours differs by provincial union ​

    • In Ontario - this includes on-call hours, rounding hours and overnight shifts; this may not be the case in other provinces

  • The birthing parent is eligible to claim maternity leave for 17 weeks AND parental leave for either 35 weeks (standard) or 61 weeks (extended)

  • The non-birth parent is eligible to claim parental leave for 37 weeks (standard) or 63 weeks (extended) 

  • If both parents intend to claim benefits - either 40 weeks (standard) or 69 weeks (extended) are divided between parents 

  • The maximum benefit is 55% of a resident's average weekly earnings to a maximum amount which is determined by service Canada ($638 in 2022)

Timing of Leave

These are some considerations that trainees have when they are planning when they may choose to take parental leave during residency.

Writing Exam

Royal College Exams

Taking the royal college certification exams with your residency cohort was a concern of the past that sometimes led to residents limiting the length of their leave (i.e. to 6 months) so that they could take the exam at the same time. As of 2022, there is no timeline for completion of residency in relation to the exam, which allows residents to take leaves of any length and take the exam during the same time as their residency cohort if they so choose.

Job Interview

Fellowship Applications

Timing of leave during residency may impact whether or when you are able to apply to fellowship programs of your choice. Reach out to other fellows in the program, upper year residents, staff mentors and/or fellowship program administrators to discuss terms of a leave.

Reading Map

Rotation Planning

Some rotations are mandatory in certain year, while others are optional. It may be preferable to be on less physically strenuous rotations in the first trimester of pregnancy or in the last trimester. Similarly, returning to work for any parent can be challenging and lighter rotations which allow for an earlier return home and possible missed work days may be preferable.

Differing Policies

Each provincial union has negotiated different terms for parental leave. We have included links to all the available policies below. It is important to remember that each collective agreement is subject to change so family planning support may continue to improve!

Important Policy Considerations

EI Top-ups

Residency unions across Canada have negotiated different top-up amounts, different benefactors (i.e. birth mother) and different top-up periods. It is important to look at your specific residency union for details. 


Each provincial union differs in the extension of benefits during leave. Some unions have negotiated the continuance of benefits, others have not. 

Vacation Time Accrual

Vacation time may or may not accrue while you are on leave. Some residency unions have negotiated the accrual of vacation time during leave and how this time may be taken (i.e. a pay-out, at the beginning/end of the leave)

If you have specific questions, contact ...

Residency unions often have people that are available to speak to you regarding your rights on leave and returning to work. Your postgraduate medical education department may also have people available to discuss your rights and obligations.

I'm about to go on parental leave, what should I do?

  • Read more about your rights and the leave policies according to your province below

  • Find out if your school's postgraduate medical education department has any additional resources and/or requirements 

    • Considerations : ​

      • how to get your EI top-ups if applicable ​

      • how to continue your extended healthcare benefits if applicable

      • how to add your child to your extended healthcare benefits if applicable

      • notification of Service Canada directly with your Record of Employment (ROE)

  • Plan when you may speak to your program director about scheduling your leave, the length of leave and rotations that you may have before and after leave 

  • You will need to apply for parental leave on the Service Canada website

  • Call the CMPA to stop payments 

  • If you are a fellow, notify CFPC/Royal College of planned leave dates for partial refund of fees

Parental Leave Policies

bottom of page