Budget 2018: Sharing Parental Leave for a Stronger Middle Class

News release

March 5, 2018              Peterborough, Ontario             Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to breaking down barriers to gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship, so that women and girls can participate in, and contribute to, Canada’s growing economy to the benefit of the middle class and those working hard to join it. When women have equal opportunities to succeed, they can be powerful agents of change—driving strong economic growth and improving the quality of life for their families and their communities.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, was in Peterborough to highlight Budget 2018 and to discuss how investments in Budget 2018 help the Government take the steps needed to encourage the broader participation of women in the workforce and build an economy that works for everyone.

With Budget 2018, the Government proposes to introduce a new Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit that would provide an additional five weeks of Employment Insurance Parental Benefits when parents—including adoptive and same-sex couples—agree to share parental leave. This “use-it-or-lose-it” incentive encourages both parents in two-parent families to share equally in the work of raising their children—which will allow greater flexibility for new moms to return to work sooner.

With equality of opportunity as a guiding principle, Budget 2018 takes the next steps in the Government’s plan to create good, well-paying jobs, improve lives and grow the economy for all Canadians. 


“Investing in women means strengthening the economy for everyone. Women often end up taking on more caregiving responsibilities, which impacts their ability to reenter the workforce after having children. In jurisdictions where they are in place, we have seen that policies that encourage shared parenting dramatically increase the number of fathers who take time off work to care for their newborns. And when support is available to both parents, including adoptive and same-sex parents, the result is a more equitable division of parenting responsibilities. This is one more way that we are creating systemic change and providing women with equal economic opportunities. Unleashing their full potential will drive innovation and support the middle class.”
– The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

Associated links


Celia Canon
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

Emily Harris
Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

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