Myth of Mat Leave

Chatelaine magazine has an interesting article in July’s issue about Mat leave.  The article talks about the myth in Canada of how wonderful the maternity benefits are – “any new mother who qualifies, from a corporate lawyer to a waitress, earns, at the very most, $1,740 a month, well below the poverty line in every Canadian city” – Students and self employed workers do not qualify for the benefits.  Also many part time workers do not qualify if they did not work 600 hours in the previous 12 months.  Can you imagine? 

The article also talked about the downside this program has for adoptive families: “Another group left out of the plan is adoptive parents, who don’t qualify for the 15 weeks of maternal leave and receive only the 35 weeks of parental. This seems cruelly counterintuitive: Isn’t it likely that transitioning an adopted child into a new family might, in fact, require more time, more money, more support than a biological birth? ”  That’s what PRIDE training was all about – stating that adoptive families need to ensure that they can spend the time necessary to bond with their child to ensure that they transititon well into their new families.  This is even more crucial for those adopting children from orphanages or foster care.  And it isn’t like adoptive families can afford to stay off after the adoption process – who gas extra cash lying around… adoption is expensive! 

It is much better than the amount of time off in the States – 8 weeks I believe is the amount of time a mother gets off while still having job security – please correct me if I’m wrong.  The Canadian government is considering extending the amount of time availalbe for parental leave up to 2 years – while that would be wonderful for the child – who will be able to afford to take the time off?

Anyhow – interesting article – check it out.