Brampton hosted the Honourable Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour, to announce a new initiative the federal government has introduced through its 2018 budget to support gender equality at home and in the workplace.
Making the announcement at Gore Meadows Recreation Centre, Minister Hajdu was joined by Brampton’s five Members of Parliament, Kamal Khera, Sonia Sidhu, Raj Grewal, Ruby Sahota, and Rameshewar Sangha.
Last week, the federal Liberals tabled their 2018 budget in which “every single decision on expenditure and tax measures was informed” by a gender-based analysis.
In the document, the government has introduced a new Employment Insurance (EI) Parental Sharing Benefit to promote equal parenting roles in families. The new benefit will provide an additional five weeks of Employment Insurance Parental Benefits to parents that share parental leave. The program will provide an additional eight weeks of benefits to parents that choose the extended parental benefits option, with the additional aim of encouraging women to re-enter the workforce.
This benefit will be administered in a ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ system; parents that do not share leave time between the two parents will not be eligible for additional weeks of EI Parental Benefits.
Kamal Khera, the Member of Parliament for Brampton West and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, in a statement, says the new measure provides an opportunity for parents.
“This benefit will give parents that share parental leave a total of 40 weeks to spend with their newborn; a critical time for both a mother and father to bond with their child. Shared leave time will keep more women in the work place, while giving fathers the opportunity to further participate in the care of their children.”
The incentive is expected to be available starting June 2019, and is projected to cost $1.2 billion over five years. After the first five years, the program will require an annual investment of $344.7 million per year.