COVID-19 and Maternity Benefits – Who will qualify?


When the COVID-19 pandemic began in Canada, many employees who were immuno-compromised were told to stay at home. Expectant mothers were also encouraged to stop working temporarily. Now, however, parents urged to remain at home are worried they might not qualify for maternity benefits.

Concerned citizens like Lucy who wrote to the John Oakley radio show have tried to find other work however have found the task daunting. “I’ve been reading the government expects women to go back to work as soon as they can, this is disgraceful.”

An Ottawa employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP joined the John Oakley on Global News Radio 640 Toronto show to discuss what Canadians can do in this situation and what the federal government’s next steps should be.

What They Discussed

  • Where do expectant mothers stand in terms of qualifying for maternity benefits? This is a major concern for expectant parents, the federal government is aware this is an issue and is currently working on a resolution.
  • While the government is trying to figure out a solution, what should parents do in the meantime? Mothers are encouraged to talk to their employers and work out a possible compromise and remain on CERB.
  • Does the wage subsidy program help in any way? The wage subsidy program only benefits those employees who are still currently working.
  • When will the transition to Employment Insurance occur from CERB? The deadline has been extended to December by the government.
  • McDonald’s filed a lawsuit against the former CEO who was found to have violated company policy. Are they in the right to try and claim some sort of reparations? What was included in the settlement documentation is important in this case as there might be a breach in terms of the settlement and after-acquired cause. Learn more about exit pay for McDonald’s staff.
  • Could McDonald’s recover the money that was in the exit package? Potentially yes, depending on what was in the settlement agreement.

Laid Off? Questions about your rights during COVID-19?

Our employment lawyers are ready to provide you with the advice you need, and the compensation you deserve.

Get help now

Advice You Need. Compensation You Deserve.

Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. We are one of Canada's most experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firms. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

Get help now