New dads should take time off too (Editor’s Notes)

Only a handful of fathers take leave – except in Quebec, where something extraordinary is happening
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/04/2012

There seems to be an unwritten rule in Canada that mothers, not fathers, take time off work when a new baby arrives.

Yes, both sexes are equally eligible for parental leave. But while that policy looks good on paper, women are far more likely to take extended time off work to care for a newborn.

How much more likely? Nearly nine out of 10 (88.6 per cent) of recent mothers — defined as those with a child up to 12 months old — who were eligible for employment insurance received either maternity or parental benefits in 2011, according to Statistics Canada.