MedNet

Leave of Absence

From time to time, circumstances may arise that will require you to take a leave of absence. During your temporary leave, your UBC benefits may be affected.

Your UBC employee group determines the following:

  • The type of leave for which you are eligible,
  • How long a leave you can take,
  • What supplemental benefits you may qualify for, and
  • Whether you are entitled to a paid or unpaid leave.

Types of Leaves

The following provides an overview of the types of leaves that may be available to UBC staff, such as Maternity Leave, Sick Leave, Compassionate Leave, etc.

To learn which specific leave entitlements you are eligible for, select the UBC employee group below, where you will also find information on how to apply for temporary leave and what will happen to your UBC benefits coverage while on leave.

Sick Leaves and Unpaid Medical Leaves

All employees have sick leave benefits; however, the amount of paid sick leave and the accrual process is different based on the employment group. For specific information on sick leave benefits for different employment groups, please consult the relevant collective agreement or handbook.

Short-Term Sick Leave

From time to time, you may have an illness or injury that prevents you from performing your job. You may use your sick leave benefits to cover such absences with medical documentation, particularly if the leave is lasting for more than five days. For specific information on how your sick leave reserve is calculated, click on the following employment groups:

Long-Term Sick Leave

If you are off for a longer period of time and your sick leave has been exhausted, below are steps to take to transition from paid sick leave to unpaid leave:

  • You may choose to use your vacation first before going on unpaid leave
  • Once the vacation is exhausted, you will go on unpaid leave
  • For unpaid medical leave, apply to the supervisor/department administrator in writing, including a doctor’s certification of the illness and a prognosis of your expected return date.
  • Apply for Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada as soon you receive the Record of Employment (ROE) from Financial Services. (Ensure that Financial Services has your current home address since they will mail the ROE after your last paycheque has been generated.)
  • You may request a copy by filling out the Request for Information form and follow the instructions for picking up your ROE in person, either by making an appointment with your Financial Services Representative, or by proxy if they have a signed letter authorizing them to do so or mailing to your home address.

For information on the employee’s benefits while on unpaid leave. Click on the following employment groups:

Income Replacement Plan / Disability Benefit Plan

UBC employees have access to long-term disability plans. The Income Replacement Plan (IRP) / Disability Benefit Plan (DBP) are available to all employee groups. The plans are employee-funded plans that provide you with a monthly income if you are unable to work for an extended period of time due to illness or injury.

  • CUPE 2950 employees can apply for IRP after 4 months on sick leave.
  • Non-Union Technicians can apply for IRP after 6 months on sick leave.
  • AAPS employees (who have passed probation) have 6 months sick leave per illness, which bridges them to IRP.

Income Replacement Plan and Disability Benefit Plan Information by UBC Employee Group

For information on short-term sick leave, please visit the UBC HR Leaves website.

Returning to Work after a Medical Leave

When you are ready to return back to work from a medical leave, provide a doctor’s note to confirm that you are fit to return to work, specifying a return date and if any accommodations are needed.

Maternity, Parental, and Adoption Leave

Maternity/Parental leave is a total of 52 weeks: 17 weeks maternity leave and 35 weeks parental leave. Maternity leave, by legislation, can only be taken by the natural mother. Parental leave can be taken by the father or mother. Adoption leave (37 weeks) is also available.

Questions that employees often ask:

Applying for Maternity Leave

Apply for a leave of absence from your department in writing, notifying them of the dates you expect to leave and return to work. Your department will then notify Financial Services that you are going on leave.

  • You are entitled to up to 17 weeks of maternity leave and up to 35 weeks of parental leave.
  • If you are also taking parental leave after your maternity leave, you should apply for this leave at the same time.
  • Maternity and parental leave is unpaid.

To coincide with EI weeks and avoid any possible loss of EI benefits:

  • Staff: you should begin either type of leave on a Monday and end it on a Friday (return from the leave on a Monday).

Accumulated vacation days can be used in conjunction with your maternity leave, but not during the period when you are receiving Employment Insurance benefits. That is, you can take accumulated vacation either before or after your leave period.

Employment Insurance (EI)

Apply for Employment Insurance (EI) Maternity/Parental Benefits from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada as soon as you receive your Record of Employment (ROE) from Financial Services. (Ensure that Financial Services has your current home address since they will mail the ROE after your last paycheque has been generated.)

  • Your ROE will be electronically transferred to Service Canada
  • If you want a copy, please fill out the Request for Information form and follow the instructions for picking up your ROE in person, either by making an appointment with your Financial Services Representative, or by proxy if they have a signed letter authorizing them to do so or mailing to your home address.
  • Details on applying for Employment Insurance Maternity/Parental Benefits can be found at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

A step-by-step guide to taking a maternity, parental or adoptive leave at UBC is available from the UBC Human Resources Benefits website. The step-by-step instructions will guide you through the following processes:

  • Notifying your department administrator or supervisor of your leave
  • Requesting a Record of Employment
  • Applying for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits available from Service Canada
  • Applying for UBC Supplemental Employment Benefit (SEB) top-up
  • Maintaining your benefits while on leave
  • Enrolling your newborn or adopted child on the UBC benefits plans.

Supplementary Employment Benefits (top-up)

To check eligibility, click on the following:

If you are eligible, Supplemental Employment Benefits (SEB) will entitle you to receive 95% of your pre-leave salary while you are on maternity leave, up to a maximum of 17 weeks.

To apply for SEB, contact Financial Services at (604) 822-2026. Please note that you must sign a Letter of Agreement with the University, in the presence of a Financial Services Representative. If you are in a union, a union shop steward must sign the letter as a witness. If you do not belong to a union, a Financial Services Payroll Manager must sign the letter as a witness.

The Letter of Agreement states that you agree:

  • To have the 95% salary differential paid to you during the leave of absence,
  • To have the additional 5% salary differential paid to you upon your return to work, rather than completing the 6 months of service following the leave,
  • To return to work and remain at work for a minimum of 6 months following the leave, and
  • To repay the University the 95% salary differential if you:
    • don’t return to work,
    • don’t complete the 6-month requirement, or
    • resign or are dismissed with just cause within 6 months of your return to work. (If you return to a part-time position after your maternity leave, you may also forfeit some or all of your supplemental benefits.)

After signing the Letter of Agreement, submit copies of your EI application and first EI stubs to Financial Services. SEB will pay you 95% of your salary for the first two weeks of your maternity leave (the waiting period during which EI does not pay), and will top up your EI payments to 95% of your salary for the remaining 15 weeks (EI + UBC payments = 95%).

Budget alert: Because of the time HRSDC takes in processing your claim, and you have to wait for your first EI stubs, there will be a delay in Financial Services issuing you payments – be sure you budget for this gap period. HRSDC normally takes about 4 to 6 weeks to process an EI claim.

Term employees: If you are a term employee, and your appointment won’t allow you to fulfill your six-month obligation, you cannot sign up for this plan unless your appointment is extended. If you are not sure whether you will be extended, you can sign up for the supplemental plan at any future date or you can choose a lump sum payment after returning to work for six months.

5% top-up: Once you are back at work, you are eligible to have the additional 5% of your salary paid to you. Apply for this benefit in writing to Financial Services and include all copies of your EI cheque stubs (the EI cheque stubs are reviewed for any variances in EI payments). The 5% top-up is then calculated and added to your next available paycheque.

Benefits and Pensions while on Maternity, Parental and Adoptive Leave

You will have to decide if you are going to maintain optional benefits such as extended health, pension, etc. If you maintain your premium contributions for your benefits, the University will also maintain its contributions.

For specific steps to take in regards to your benefits and pension while on Maternity, Parental and Adoptive Leave, please click on the appropriate employment group: