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Update on eligibility requirements of paid parental leave for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who receive granting agency funding

In June 2019, the agencies announced the extension of the duration of paid parental leave (PPL) from six to twelve months for individuals who were on an active paid parental leave on April 1st, 2019 or later. In October 2019, the agencies further reviewed the eligibility requirements of the policy and will now extend it to include those who were on an unpaid parental leave of six months or less as of April 1st, 2019.

Therefore, individuals who were on an unpaid parental leave status on April 1st immediately following a paid parental leave (with no interruption in between) are now able to request an extension to their initial paid leave for up to six additional months (thereby providing individuals with up to 12 consecutive months of PPL). Doing so will effectively convert their unpaid leave into paid leave. For example, someone whose six-month unpaid parental leave started in March 2019 is now entitled to a PPL payment for the months of March to August 2019.

This change is effective immediately. Note that the extension is not automatic and a new form requesting the additional months will have to be submitted to the appropriate agency. Students and fellows who are interested in requesting a paid extension should refer to the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide if they hold an award  and the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide if they are paid from a supervisor’s agency grant for further details.

If you have any questions about the extension of PPL, please send an email to:

CIHR: support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
NSERC: schol@nserc-crsng.gc.ca
SSHRC: scholarshipsadministration@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca