Changes to paid parental leave for students and postdoctoral fellow research trainees

The guidelines regarding parental leave supplements for eligible students and postdoctoral fellows research trainees who are paid out of agency grants will be changing July 31, 2017. Working collaboratively, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have sought to improve access to paid parental leave, harmonize their guidelines and reduce administrative burden.

As a result, effective July 31, 2017, SSHRC will join NSERC and CIHR in providing parental leave supplements paid out of agency grants within six months following the child's birth or adoption to eligible students and postdoctoral fellows who are primary caregivers for a child. (This will not be retroactive; it will apply to births and adoptions on or after July 31, 2017.)

Further, for all three agencies, starting on July 31, 2017, students or fellows eligible for other parental leave supplements may also be eligible for Agency supplements. The following sentence of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide in the "Administrative Matters" section will be deleted: "Students or fellows who are eligible for employment insurance or other parental leave supplements from other sources do not qualify for parental leave supplements".

Correspondingly, changes have been made to the "Checklist for Maternity and/or Parental Leave Paid from Grants to Students and Postdoctoral Fellows": essentially, SSHRC will adopt the same administrative model as NSERC, by which the supplements are paid to the institution as a reimbursement for the Paid Parental Leave they have provided to eligible students and postdoctoral fellows paid out of agency grants.

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