Text Size

Parental Leave Policy


Policy Statement

Employees may take up to 52 weeks parental leave and have that time recognized for purposes of paid and annual leave, severance pay, sick leave, and step progression.



This policy applies to all employees of Government departments.

Bargaining unit employees should also consult their respective collective agreements and the provisions of the collective agreement shall prevail.



Parental Leave unpaid leave granted to either parent following the birth or adoption of a child




It is the responsibility of individual departments to:

  • grant parental leave to employees upon request;
  • review parental leave benefits with employees prior to the start of the leave and establish, in writing, agreed upon commencement and return dates.


It is the responsibility of employees to:

  • notify their supervisors, at least two weeks in advance, of their intent to take parental leave;
  • notify their supervisors, in writing, as to whether or not they wish to continue their health benefits during the period of parental leave.

General Provisions

Dates for the commencement of parental leave and for returning to work should be agreed upon by the employee and supervisor. Changes to either agreed upon dates require at least 2 weeks notice, where possible.

A pregnant employee may be awarded sick leave for illness that is a result of or may be associated with pregnancy prior to the scheduled commencement date of maternity leave or the birth of the child, whichever occurs first.

A pregnant employee who has not commenced parental leave may, subject to the approval of the Deputy Minister, elect to use earned paid leave, annual leave or other accumulated leave (except sick leave) beyond the date that the pregnancy terminates.

Benefits Continuance

Employees who take parental leave may have up to 52 weeks recognized for the purposes of:

  • paid or annual leave;
  • sick leave;
  • severance pay; and
  • step progression.

Employees who take more than 52 weeks parental leave, will not receive any credit for purposes of paid or annual leave, sick leave, severance pay and step progression for the period in excess of 52 weeks.

Employees who take parental leave may continue their Group Medical and Group Life Insurance premiums for a maximum of 52 weeks where the:

  • Employer pays the Employer's share and employees concurrently pay their own share; or
  • Employer pays both the Employer and the employee's shares, recovering the employees' shares through payroll deduction or other agreed upon method following the employee's return to work.
  • Employees who take parental leave for a maximum of 52 weeks may resume their former positions upon return from parental leave, with no loss of accrued benefits.

Upon return to work, employees may have the period of leave credited for pension purposes. Employees who elect, within 90 days, may purchase the period of leave by paying contributions that would have been paid had the employee not gone on leave. The Employer will match this amount. Employees who elect to purchase after 90 days will be required to pay the full actuarial cost of the service.

Last Policy Update: July 21, 2003


Last Updated:
This page and all contents are copyright, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, all rights reserved.