On November 28, 2019, Bill 51: An Act mainly to improve the flexibility of the parental insurance plan in order to promote family-work balance was introduced in the National Assembly of Quebec. Nearly a year later, on October 29, 2020, an Act mainly to improve the flexibility of the parental insurance plan in order to promote family-work balance (the “Act”) was assented.

The Act, which came into force on October 29, 2020, was introduced to improve the current Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (“QPIP”) to make it more responsive to the contemporary realities of families, the labour market and employers. The main purpose of the Act is to provide more flexibility in the use of QPIP benefits and to facilitate the family-work balance by promoting a better sharing of family responsibilities between parents. To this end, the Act extends the period within which maternity, paternity, parental or adoption benefits can be paid, among other things.

In addition to the changes made to the QPIP regime, the Act also makes several modifications to the parental leaves provided for in the Quebec Act respecting Labour Standards (“ALS”). Here is a brief summary of the main legislative changes in this regard:

The modifications to all provisions above, except for 81.14.1, are effective for birth or adoptions occurring as of January 1, 2021.

In light of these legislative changes, provincially regulated employers should review their parental leaves policies in order to ensure their compliance with the amended ALS provisions.

Do not hesitate to contact one of the members of our labour and employment law national team should you have any questions or require our assistance.