If you are expecting a child, there are a couple of things you should look into and get ready before the baby is here! 

Getting paid

Employment Insurance (EI)

When you go on a maternity/parental/adoption leave, you may be entitled to employment insurance (EI) benefits from the Government of Canada. You need to satisfy their eligibility requirements in order to receive EI benefits. Please review EI Maternity and Parental Benefits on the Service Canada website in order to learn more about eligibility, what you are entitled to receive, how to apply and what to expect after you apply.

Your EI claim cannot be processed until Service Canada receives your record of employment (ROE). If you are a permanent or term employee, your ROE will be sent electronically from Payroll to Service Canada after you receive your final pay before going on your leave. If you are a casual employee, you are responsible for requesting the ROE from ConnectionPoint yourself, then sending to Service Canada to complete your claim.

Taxes
Once you begin receiving EI supplemental benefits, it is important to review income from all sources for the tax impact to your annual income and to avoid an unexpected tax bill at the end of the year. You can request additional tax to be taken from your top-up portion by completing a new TD-1 tax form and submitting it to ConnectionPoint.

Supplemental benefits (top-up)

If you are eligible to receive employment insurance, you may also qualify to receive supplemental benefits (also known as “top-up”). If eligible, the employer will provide a supplemental benefit of 95% (inclusive of employment insurance benefits) of weekly earnings based on pre-leave earnings. This is also known as a top-up benefit for maternity and parental leaves.

Please refer to your employment/collective agreement (will be found under "Leave" information) to determine if you are eligible. Top up eligibility is left up to the discretion of the employer for Research employees.

You will receive the top-up as indicated in your employment/collective agreement. 

Benefit plans

If you are on a parental or maternity leave and are receiving supplemental benefits all employer benefits will continue to be paid on your behalf during the top-up period (see Supplemental Benefits above). Any employee paid benefits will continue to be paid by you as normal.

Deciding whether to maintain your benefit coverage 

Once your salary top-up ends and you begin the unpaid portion of your maternity/parental/adoption leave, you have the option to maintain the benefits you have if all premiums are paid by you. When you complete your leave of absence application form, you will indicate at that time which benefits you would like to maintain and pay for once your unpaid leave begins (costs will be calculated for you based on the dates of your leave).

Before applying for a leave it is important you learn the implications of waiving benefits and other details about benefits while on a leave.

Adding your child to your benefits plan

For your child to be covered under your health and dental benefit plan, you will have to add them as a dependent once your baby is here.

Apply for a leave

You should provide your manager/supervisor/director/dean with reasonable notice regarding your leave, so they can plan for your absence.

Apply for a maternity/parental/adoption leave of absence

How to apply

  • Complete the Leave of Absence Application form available in PAWS.
  • You will need to indicate at that time which benefits you would like to maintain and pay for once your unpaid leave begins. See Benefit Plans details above.

Beneficiaries

Review you beneficiaries and life insurance amounts

With this life change, you and your partner may want to review your life insurance coverage and beneficiaries on your insurance policies to ensure they are up to date. You can review your coverage and current beneficiaries in PAWS.

Changing coverage

Since having a child is considered a ‘life event’ you have the opportunity to increase your optional life insurance within 90 days from the date of birth/adoption.

  • You may apply for or increase your optional life insurance up to $500,000 without providing medical evidence of insurability.

  • Your spouse may apply for or increase their coverage for the first $50,000 of optional life insurance without providing medical evidence of insurability. They will need to complete a health statement to provide medical evidence of insurability for any amount above $50,000.

  • Since you do not have to provide medical evidence of insurability, you will pay premiums from the insurance effective date (date of hire or date of life event), regardless of when during those 90 days you submit your application.

Pension

Under Saskatchewan pension legislation, your spouse must be named as your primary beneficiary for pension, unless your spouse completes a spouse’s waiver of pre-retirement survivor benefit form.

Contact the Pensions office at 306-966-6633 or pension.inquiries@usask.ca for more information.

Reminders

In addition to the above details surrounding your leave here are some reminders or things to check that may be missed as you prepare to go on your leave of absence:

  • Out of office – set you email/phone to automatic replies, providing the incoming email or caller with an alternate contact during your leave.
  • Parking – if you will not need your parking pass on campus, call Parking Services to discuss your options. 

Review your benefits

Take time to review your benefits to see what is available to support your wellbeing.  

Did you know? 

You might be covered for preferred hospital accommodations with you benefits.  A semi private or private room for you to rest and enjoy time with the newest member of your family.

Wellness

Your Employee and Family Assistance Program can help by providing:

  • Personal counselling to help you postpartum depression or in developing strategies for dealing with caregiving issues and the stress associated with it
  • Legal consultation to support you through decisions related to adoption or estate planning
  • Referrals to childcare
  • Financial consultation to help you understand how care is paid for
  • Educational resources on all sorts of topics related to caring for your family

Preparing

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Fitness and nutrition

Learn more about improving your fitness and nutrtion and healthy habits you can incorporate while at work.

Childcare and campus resources

Childcare

There are many on and off campus childcare options available.

Choosing the right childcare

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Convenient breastfeeding locations

The Comfort Room

The Comfort Room is a new addition to student and staff family resources. The first of its kind on a Canadian campus, it is designed as a safe space for parents who might need a quiet place to breastfeed, pump, or take a few minutes away from busy campus life. 

Other convenient breastfeeding locations

Other convenient breastfeeding locations are available around campus with varying amenities. 

The Parents on Campus Group

  • A community where parents on campus can meet, share stories and information
  • Monthly information sessions from local speakers on parenting issues (carseat safety, quick nutritious family meals, etc.)

Getting help

Connection Point 

Types of questions Connection Point can assist with:

Come See Us 
Arts Building, Room 258
Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

(306) 966-2000
1-844-697-4865 
 connectionpoint@usask.ca

Employee and Family Assistance Program

The U of S's Employee and Family Assistance Program offers someone to talk to and resources to consult whenever and wherever you need.

Free and confidential support services include:

  • Confidential emotional support
  • Work-life solutions
  • Legal guidance
  • Finanical resources
  • Physical health coaching

(306) 966-4300 
1-844-448-7275 (toll-free)