There are many different ways to grow a family, and we celebrate with you as you step forward into the exciting world of parenthood. Please note that this section has been tailored to residents who identify as the biological father of a little one or as their adoptive parents. For biological mothers, please see the sections "Pregnancy" and "Maternity Leave" for further information.
If you are planning to take a parental leave as a biological father or adoptive parent(s), you will need to notify your program supervisor of the start/end dates of your leave.
Resident Doctors of BC Collective Agreement
Adoptive parents (and biological fathers) are entitled to up to 37 weeks of parental leave from their residency program. During this time, income from your employer, Vancouver Coastal Health, is $0. However, if you have worked at least 600 hours in the past 52 weeks you are eligible to apply for parental EI benefits (see below).
Residents also receive 2 paid days off to attend the birth of their child. if you needed more time to attend the birth, don't forget about your 2 paid FLEX days as well as your vacation allotment.
Extended Health Benefits
Residents on parental leave continue to receive extended health benefits as if they were not on leave. This is unlike a resident on maternity leave who is required to pay a portion of their monthly premium to continue receiving extended health benefits,
In the unfortunate event that your child becomes unwell, an additional 5 consecutive weeks of leave without pay is available to the resident. This leave must begin immediately following the 37 weeks of parental leave. A letter from a medical practitioner certifying that your child suffers from a physical, psychological, or emotional condition is required. Beyond this 42 weeks (37 weeks + 5 additional weeks), any additional leave required by the resident will be without pay or extended health benefits.
Employee Insurance (EI)
Although adoptive parents are not eligible for maternity EI benefits (i.e. first 17 weeks following birth of newborn), they are eligible for parental benefits! Parental leave can be shared between two parents. Note that the weekly EI benefit remains the same regardless of how many children you adopt.
You will need to decide between:
Note that with EI benefits, there is a 2-week waiting period that one parent will need to serve. Even if both parents are planning to share the parental leave, only one parent will need to serve this waiting period.
In the event that your child is hospitalized, then the 52-week period (for standard parental benefits) or the 78-week period (for extended parental benefits) to claim EI can be extended each week your child is in hospital. You are still only eligible for EI for 35 weeks (if you opt for standard parental benefits) or 61 weeks (if you opt for extended parental benefits), but you can delay payments until you are home with your little one.