Bonus won't be clawed back from members on maternity and parental leave

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The Hospital Employees' Union has received confirmation from the federal government that members who are on maternity or parental leave won’t have their combined signing and past skills enhancement bonuses clawed back from their Employment Insurance benefits.

Service Canada – the branch of the federal government that administers the Employment Insurance program – reviewed the language negotiated between health unions, health employers and government and ratified by HEU’s hospital and long-term care members last week.

They confirmed in writing today that “there should be no impact as to EI entitlement for an individual currently on Maternity or Parental leave.”

The combined signing and past skills enhancement bonus of $4,200 (based on full-time hours)is available to all employees covered by the facilities sub-sector agreement on March 31, 2006.

For regular employees on maternity or parental leave under Article 35 of the collective agreement on this date, the $4,200 is pro-rated based on their full-time equivalent status on the last day worked prior to their leave of absence.

Members who receive the combined bonus payment while still collecting EI benefits must report the payment to EI but it should not be clawed back. If you have any questions or encounter any issues, please ask your local executive to put you in touch with an HEU servicing representative. The union will assist you with any issues that arise as a result of receiving the combined bonus payment while on maternity or parental leave.

You may have heard some media reports concerning the possible claw back of signing bonuses from public sector workers on maternity and parental leaves. Please note that the situation facing other bargaining groups within the public sector may differ.