There are many students who successfully complete their program of study while caring for a new child and/or other family members. Staff members at the Family Care Office are available to meet with you individually to discuss your particular situation.
Graduate students can apply for a leave of up to three terms to recognize the need for a leave for serious health or personal problems, or for parental leave. You can read the details of this policy on the School of Graduate Studies website.
To apply for a parental leave from your studies, you will need to complete a Leave of Absence Form available in your department or at the School of Graduate Studies.
You can arrange to meet with a staff member at the Family Care Office to discuss any concerns you have about planning your leave, advocacy support, and to find out about resources that can help you plan for your new child or care for your aging family member. You should also speak to your graduate supervisor and thesis supervisor to discuss your plans. Another useful resource can be your Graduate Students' Union.
If you have your own research funding you need to find out how interrupting your award for reasons such as maternity, child rearing, illness or health-related family responsibilities will impact your funding. Some research councils offer benefits. It is important to find out what the policy is for your particular research award. If you need assistance in acquiring this information, you can contact Graduate Awards at the School of Graduate Studies at 416-946-0808.
If you are a working at the University in a role such as a teaching assistant, your collective agreement will provide you with the policies for pregnancy, parental, adoption, paternity and compassionate leave.
Under Employment Standards, if you currently are working as well as studying, and have been with your current employer for at least 13 weeks, you may be entitled to a leave of absence and your job will be protected.
If you are pregnant, you are entitled to a 17-week maternity leave and up to 35 weeks of parental leave from work as outlined in Employment Standards. If you are the partner of a pregnant woman or you are adopting a child, you are entitled to up to 37 weeks of leave.
If you are caring for a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death, you may be eligible for a family medical leave.
The Employment Standards Act (ESA) sets out rights of employees and requirements that apply to employers in most Ontario workplaces.
If you are protected by the ESA, you may have the right to take time off from work for pregnancy, parental, personal emergency, family medical and reservist leaves.
For further information about these leaves and whether or not you are covered by ESA, then please refer to the Ministry of Labour website.
If you will be caring for a new child or a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. For further information, visit the Service Canada website.
Email us or call 416-978-0951 to book a confidential appointment with a staff member at the Family Care Office to discuss your particular situation.