HR Home Forums Answer for Returning From Maternity Leave

Conner Lantz
Post count: 4836

I assume by “maternity leave,” you mean parental leave. (Technically, there’s no such thing as “maternity leave” in Ontario. Moms can take pregnancy and then parental leave.)
Return date should be 61 or 63 weeks after leave began. Explanation: Ontario ESA requires employees to give at least 2 weeks’ written notice before beginning parental leave listing the START DATE. Although not expressly required, MOL guidance “strongly advises” employees to also list how many weeks of parental leave they plan to take.  If they don’t provide that info, you have to assume they’re going to take the full 61 weeks (63 weeks if they also took pregnancy leave) to which they’re entitled. So that’s the return date in your case. Technically, the employee could come back sooner if she gives you at least 4 weeks’ notice, but that’s not really relevant to your situation.
Notice of Resignation: Under Sec. 49(4), an employee on leave who decides to resign must provide the employer 4 weeks’ written termination notice.
Contacting Employee: ESA doesn’t address this, but you are generally allowed to contact employees on leave for legitimate employment-related purposes, including figuring out their return date. Just gotta be sensitive, professional and use common sense about how you do it.
Hope that helps. Glenn