Budget 2018: Sharing parental leave for a stronger middle class

News release

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

Canadian women and men deserve to be equal partners in society and equal participants in the economy. When we have gender equality both at home and at work, families thrive and our economy flourishes.

That is why today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, was in Brampton to highlight the Government of Canada’s new Employment Insurance (EI) parental sharing benefit to encourage both parents in two-parent families—including adoptive and same-sex couples—to share equally in the work of raising their kids. Soon, two-parent families who share parental leave could receive an additional five weeks of leave, making it easier for women to return to work sooner, if they choose.

This is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to finally closing the gender wage gap in our country. This Government recognizes that part of this gap is due to the fact that caregiving duties disproportionately fall to women.

While a shift to more equal parenting is an important tool to reduce the gender wage gap, it must also be part of a broader array of policy tools, such as the Government’s investments in early learning and child care, better training and financing for learning, proactive pay equity, pay transparency, supporting women to enter highly-paid skilled trades and STEM positions, and the continued appointment of skilled, talented women to leadership positions.

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.


“The gender wage gap in Canada has always persisted partly thanks to the fact that caregiving duties have historically fallen primarily to women. Promoting a more equal share of parenting duties so that more women can succeed in the workforce isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do—our economy depends on it.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“We’ve been talking about gender equality long enough. The time for action is now and Budget 2018 shows that we are committed to moving forward in supporting gender equality at home and at the workplace. The EI parental sharing benefit is just one of many ways our government is working to improve opportunities for women and support the middle class.”
– Raj Grewal, Member of Parliament for Brampton East

“As Canada’s ninth-largest city, Brampton is home to thousands of young families and the new EI Parental Sharing Benefit will undoubtedly assist these new parents. The early days of childhood are the most precious and parents should be able to focus on their babies without worrying about work or finances. Being able to share parental leave gives women more opportunities in the workforce. Raising kids is a shared responsibility and it’s time our parental benefits reflected that.”
– Linda Jeffrey, Mayor of Brampton

Associated links


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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