16 January 2009

Maternity leave in Canada

Maternity leave is a topic that is pissing me the hell off right now. Because I don't get any. I work 6 hours per week. I pay EI on my earnings.

From hrsdc.gc.ca
"Maternity benefits are payable to the birth mother or surrogate mother for a maximum of 15 weeks. To receive maternity benefits you are required to have worked for 600 hours in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim. You need to prove your pregnancy by signing a statement declaring the expected due or actual date of birth."

Why? Why do I have to have worked 600 hours? It's not like I'd get the same amount of money as someone who's worked 1200 hours. I'd get a percentage of my earnings. It's impossible to get knocked up to scam the system (like say welfare, which, btw, I don't think many people scam. Yeah, some do, but have you ever tried to live on welfare wages? It's way more work than it's worth). $447/week. I'd make about $49/week. Seriously, they're denying me $49/week for 15 weeks. Are they kidding me?

In a nutshell, I have to pay into EI, but I can never collect on it. Not even for maternity leave. Yes, I know it's good that the system uses my money to help others, but I fail to see the logic behind denying me $735. I'm reasonable though. Someone point out how this is logical, and I'll deal.

Fortunately, my husband is a civil servant. Parental benefits are great. If you're a full-time employee. Since I'm merely a part-timer, I am nothing in the eyes of the government. Oh, and also, it wouldn't kill my church to just give me 6 weeks paid time off. But since they don't even give me Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or a Christmas bonus (not even a bloody box of chocolates!), it's not happening.