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Does going on maternity leave freeze the term of a contract?

Expert: Howard Levitt

Teresa asked:

I intend to go on maternity leave (in Ontario) after completing 11 months of my 1 year contract. I doubt I would receive an offer to renew the contract, because I am on leave I would not be available to work it.

I am not self-employed, I am a part-time employee. Am I still entitled under the ESA to return to my position at the end of the 52 week maternal/parental leave? If yes, to what extent?

For example, do I finish the remaining month of my contract? Is having a job to go back to a requirement for entitlement to EI benefits during the parental/maternal leave? Does the fact that my contract will almost be done when I take leave affect entitlement during my leave to the employer providing health and dental benefits?

Howard Levitt answered:

The fact of going on maternity leave will not provide you with additional rights such as extending your contract beyond the expiry date, which and the employer had already agreed upon.

At the end of that time (the contract period), you will be terminated and all benefits will cease to be given.

About the author

Howard Levitt, Counsel to the national law firm Lang Michener. He is author of, The Law of Dismissal in Canada, The Quick Reference Guide to Employment Law and an upcoming book on Canadian Hiring Law. He is Editor In Chief of the Dismissal & Employmnet Law Digest.

Phone: (416) 307-4059
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