Maternity benefits could double to two years

HRDC officials lobbying hard for change, Chretien government looking at tabling fall budget

The federal government is considering a move to double maternity benefits again, this time to two years, according to the National Post.

The idea, which is being lobbied for heavily by Department of Human Resources Development officials, has reportedly met intense resistance from business

The move to double maternity benefits could come in a fall budget, possibly in October, as the federal government opens its wallet in a spending budget designed to invigorate the Chretien government.

Bureaucrats have reportedly been told they have until mid-August to come up with new ideas and cost estimates for the budget.

Throughout 2001, changes were made to federal and provincial employment standards legislation, doubling the maternity and parental leave from six months to one year, in response to extended eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits from the federal government.

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