Transcript: Parental Leave: More Time with the Kids | Dec 01, 2017

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a light gray blazer over a black shirt.

A caption on screen reads "Parental leave: More time with the kids."

Nam says NEXT WEEK, NEW RULES
AROUND PARENTAL LEAVE KICK IN.
IT MEANS PARENTS CAN NOW OPT FOR
UP TO 18 MONTHS AWAY FROM THE
WORKPLACE.
JOINING US NOW FROM MORE ON THE
CHANGES:
SARAH KAPLAN, PROFESSOR OF
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT AND
DIRECTOR AT THE INSTITUTE FOR
GENDER AND THE ECONOMY AT ROTMAN
SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AT U OF T...

Sarah is in her forties, with long, wavy graying hair. She's wearing glasses, a black blazer and a red blouse.

Nam continues AND MAYA ROY, CEO OF YWCA CANADA.

Maya is in her thirties, with long wavy black hair. She's wearing a black blouse.

Nam continues WELCOME TO YOU BOTH. WE'VE BEEN
CHATTING A LOT BEFORE WE STARTED
TAPING, BUT JUST TO GIVE SOME
CONTEXT OF WHAT'S HAPPENING,
THE TORONTO STAR
WROTE AN
EDITORIAL AND HERE'S PART OF IT...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Baby steps." The quote reads "The federal government has taken a baby step towards making Canada's parental leave program more flexible. This is good as far as it goes. But, sadly, it doesn't go very far."
The government isn't extending existing E.I. benefits over 18 months. Instead, as first laid out in last spring's budget, it will simply give a parent the option of receiving what they would have been entitled to during 12 months and spreading it out over 18.
Quoted from the Editorial, Toronto Star. November 9, 2017.

Nam says SO, SARAH, IN PURE
DOLLARS AND CENTS TERMS,
STARTING NEXT WEEK, HOW MUCH
WILL SOMEONE RECEIVE FROM E.I.
IF THEY GO ON PARENTAL LEAVE?

The caption changes to "Sarah Kaplan. Rotman School of Management."
Then, it changes again to "What are the new rules?"

Sarah says PARENTS STILL
HAVE AN OPTION OF DOING THE 12
MONTHS AS OPPOSED TO THE 18
MONTHS.
UNDER THE OLD RULES, THE 12
MONTHS THEY GOT 55 percent OF THEIR
WAGES UP TO 543 dollars A WEEK.
IF YOU SPREAD THAT OUT IN THE
WAY YOU JUST DESCRIBED, OVER THE
18 MONTHS THEY GET UP TO 33 percent OF
THEIR WAGES, WHICH IS ABOUT 326 dollars
A WEEK...

Nam says HOW DOES SOMEONE LIVE
ON THAT?

Sarah says WELL, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
IT MEANS BASICALLY THE ONLY
PERSON WHO CAN AFFORD TO DO IT
ARE THE PEOPLE WITH OTHER
SOURCES OF INCOME WHICH MAYBE
ISN'T THE PEOPLE WE WANTED TO
BENEFIT FROM THIS ANYWAY.

Nam says THE MINISTER,
JEAN-YVES DUCLOS, HE REPEATEDLY
USED THE WORD "FLEXIBILITY,"
THAT THIS WILL PROVIDE
FLEXIBILITY TO FAMILIES.

The caption changes to "Maya Roy. YWCA Canada."

Maya says I CAN'T QUITE
AGREE TO THAT TERM.
IT ONLY APPLIES TO WORKERS IN
FEDERALLY REGULATED PROFESSIONS
LIKE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE OR
BANKING OR I.T.

Nam says IF SOMEONE WORKED AT A
FAST FOOD RESTAURANT, THEY
WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO...

Maya says EXACTLY.
WORKERS AT TIM HORTON'S OR THE
WAL-MART.
THE MORE WOMEN WE SEE WORKING IN
PRECARIOUS JOBS, THAT'S WHO I'M
WORRIED ABOUT, THE OTHER 92 percent.

Nam says DOES THIS APPLY TO ALL
CANADIANS, SARAH?

Sarah says THIS POLICY
APPLIES TO ALL CANADIANS IN
THESE FEDERALLY REGULATED
BUSINESSES ALTHOUGH THERE'S THE
HOPE THAT THE PROVINCES ARE
GOING TO COME ON BOARD WITH IT
AND THAT IT WOULD EVENTUALLY
EXTEND TO MANY MORE PEOPLE, BUT
THAT'S VERY DEPENDENT ON THE
PROVINCES AND OF COURSE WE KNOW
QUEBEC HAS A COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT SET OF POLICIES.

Nam says SO WHY DO THIS IF IT'S
ONLY GOING TO BENEFIT A SMALL
PERCENTAGE OF THE CANADIAN
POPULATION?

The caption changes to "Sarah Kaplan. Institute for Gender and the Economy."

Sarah says WELL, I THINK THAT THE
CURRENT GOVERNMENT, YOU KNOW,
THEY CALL THEMSELVES A FEMINIST
GOVERNMENT, THEY WANT TO PURSUE
POLICIES THAT THEY THINK ARE
GOING TO BENEFIT WOMEN AND MORE
BROADLY FAMILIES, SO THEY'RE
UNDER PRESSURE TO DO THINGS TO
BE ABLE TO SAY THAT THEY'VE DONE
SOMETHING.
THIS PARTICULAR POLICY COSTS
NOTHING FOR THEM TO DO BECAUSE
THEY'RE NOT GIVING ANY
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS, AT LEAST IT
COSTS NOTHING TO THE GOVERNMENT
TO DO.
IT IS POTENTIALLY COSTLY TO
EMPLOYERS.
SO IT'S SOMETHING THAT THEY
COULD ANNOUNCE WITHOUT HAVING TO
GO THROUGH THE MACHINATIONS OF
FINDING A BUDGET FOR THE KINDS
OF POLICIES THAT MAYBE WE
ACTUALLY NEED, LIKE BETTER CHILD CARE.

Nam says AND HOW WOULD IT IMPACT EMPLOYERS?

Sarah says I THINK THE WAY IT WOULD
IMPACT EMPLOYERS IS, THE WAY THE
RULE WORKS, THE 18 MONTHS, THE
EMPLOYERS HAVE TO KEEP THAT JOB
AVAILABLE FOR THAT PERSON SO
THAT WHEN THEY COME BACK, THEY
STILL HAVE THEIR JOB, BUT
HOLDING A JOB OPEN FOR 18 MONTHS
BECOMES EXTREMELY DIFFICULT IN
TERMS OF WORK PLANNING AND
THINGS LIKE THAT, AND SO IT ADDS
AN EXTRA BURDEN IN ORGANIZATIONS
AND CERTAINLY IF MORE
ORGANIZATIONS, SMALL AND MEDIUM
BUSINESSES, WERE TO FALL UNDER
THAT IF THE PROVINCES EXTEND
THESE KINDS OF POLICIES, THEN
THE ABILITY FOR THE ORGANIZATION
TO MANAGE THEIR WORK FORCE
BECOMES MUCH HARDER.

Nam says AND WHAT'S THE PLAN
HERE IN ONTARIO, FOR THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO?

Maya says WELL, THERE
HASN'T BEEN A LOT OF DISCUSSION
YET.
I KNOW THERE HAS BEEN SOME
DISCUSSIONS IN TERMS OF
POTENTIALLY A TOP-UP, BUT WE'RE
STILL... THE JURY IS STILL OUT
ON THAT.
WE'RE WAITING TO HEAR.

Nam says SO THE LAST TIME WE
HAD ANY CHANGES TO PARENTAL
LEAVE WAS 2001. I'D LIKE TO
READ A LITTLE BIT OF THIS FROM
AN ARTICLE IN MACLEANS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Twice as much." The quote reads "When the federal government doubled the unemployment benefits offered to parents it was hailed as one of the most important public policy advancements aimed both at helping workers navigate the transition into parenthood and ensuring enough of the all-important time for new infants to bond with their parents. While the government was careful to allow moms and dads the right to split the 37-week 'parental leave' portion of its year-long benefit program, that quickly morphed into a full year away for mothers. Nearly 90 percent of new mothers took a parental leave, averaging 48 weeks, according to a 2009 Statistics Canada study. By comparison, just 11 percent of men took any paid time off work, averaging just 2,4 weeks."
Quoted from Tamsin McMahon, Maclean's. January 20, 2014.

Nam says SO, MAYA, WHY HASN'T
THE CANADIAN PARENTAL SYSTEM
BEEN USED BY FATHERS TO ANY
GREAT EXTENT?

The caption changes to "Not yet a boy's club."

Maya says WHAT I'M HEARING
FROM A LOT OF MEN AND A LOT OF
EMPLOYERS IS THERE'S A FEAR,
THERE'S A FEAR IT MIGHT IMPACT
THEIR CAREER.

Nam says HOW?

The caption changes to "Maya Roy, @maya_roy1."

Maya says WELL, THERE'S A STIGMA AROUND IT.
ALSO, TO BE FRANK, WE STILL HAVE
A GENDER WAGE GAP IN THIS
COUNTRY, IT'S AROUND 18 percent, SO IF
THE MOM IS MAKING LESS AND THE
FATHER IS MAKING MORE, IT JUST
SORT OF LEANS TOWARDS THAT HE'S
GOING TO HAVE TO WORK.
IN COUNTRIES LIKE KOREA AND
JAPAN, THEY OFFER ANYWHERE
BETWEEN 50 AND 52 WEEKS AND THEY
HAVE EVEN SMALLER UPTAKES,
ANYWHERE BETWEEN 2 TO 4 PERCENT.
SO I THINK DESTIGMATIZING DADS
BEING ABLE TO TAKE A LEAVE, I'D
LOOK AT MORE LIKE THE SYSTEM IN
SWEDEN OR ICELAND WHERE YOU HAVE
DADDY QUOTAS AND THERE'S A
CERTAIN AMOUNT OF WEEKS OR
MONTHS PUT ASIDE SPECIFICALLY
FOR DAD AND THAT GIVES THEM AN
INCENTIVE AND EMPLOYERS AN
INCENTIVE AS WELL.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Nam says WITH THIS NEW POLICY
HAVING THE 18 MONTHS AND
PRESUMABLY IF WOMEN ARE TAKING
THE TIME, IT WOULD BE WOMEN WHO
CONTINUE TO TAKE THE TIME, 18
MONTHS IS A LONG TIME TO BE OUT
OF WORK, IS IT NOT?
HOW WOULD THIS IMPACT WOMEN IN
THE WORK FORCE?

The caption changes to "Sarah Kaplan, @Sarah_Kaplan."

Sarah says THERE ARE A
COUPLE THINGS WE KNOW.
ONE IS WE KNOW THE LONGER WOMEN
ARE OUT OF THE WORK FORCE EVEN
THOUGH IT'S ON AN OFFICIAL LEAVE
AND EVEN IF THEIR JOB MIGHT BE
GUARANTEED FOR THEM TO COME
BACK, THE TRANSITION IS HARDER.
SOME DESCRIBE THE 18 MONTHS AS
SORT OF A GUARANTEED WORK FORCE
EXIT POLICY BECAUSE THE OTHER
THING THAT HAPPENS IS IT'S MUCH
MORE LIKELY IF YOU HAVE THAT
LONG OF A LEAVE AND IF IT IS
ONLY THE WOMEN WHO ARE TAKING
THE LEAVE, THAT THEY ARE LIKELY
TO GET PREGNANT AGAIN DURING
THAT TIME, BE OUT FOR ANOTHER
PERIOD OF TIME, AND THEN MAYBE
NEVER REENTER THE WORK FORCE.
I ALSO JUST WANTED TO SAY ONE
OTHER THING WE KNOW FROM
ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON PARENTAL
LEAVE AND FATHERS TAKING LEAVE,
IS THAT VERY OFTEN THEY'RE
INTERESTED IN TAKING LEAVE.
THE STIGMA EXISTS.
AND THE ONLY TIME THEY WOULD
ACTUALLY BE WILLING TO DO IT IS
IF THEIR PEERS ARE ALL DOING IT.
SO THAT'S WHERE THE USE IT OR
LOSE IT KIND OF MANDATORY
POLICIES THAT MAYA REFERRED TO
ARE SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT GETS
LOTS OF MEN GOING OUT OF THE
WORK FORCE FOR A PERIOD OF TIME,
WHICH MEANS THAT MORE MEN ARE
WILLING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
THOSE POLICIES BECAUSE IT'S NOT
JUST THEM, IT'S JUST SEEN AS
SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE WOULD
DO.
SO THAT PEER EFFECT IS REALLY
IMPORTANT.

Maya says AND THEN THAT
ALSO BENEFITS US AS WOMEN,
RIGHT, BECAUSE WHEN WOMEN OF
CHILD-BEARING AGE, FOR EXAMPLE
SUCH AS MYSELF, WHEN WE START
APPLYING FOR WORK, EMPLOYERS
DON'T NECESSARILY LOOK AT US AND
THINK, OH, MY GOD, SHE HAS A
UTERUS, SHE'S GOING TO USE IT.
BECAUSE THERE IS AN EQUAL
OPPORTUNITY FOR MEN AND WOMEN TO
TAKE LEAVE.
IT DOES LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD
A BIT MORE.

Nam says DO YOU THINK IT WOULD
BE MORE BENEFICIAL IF THEY HAD
COME OUT WITH A PLAN THAT SAID
MEN HAVE THIS FIVE WEEKS
PARENTAL LEAVE AND THEN THAT
WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE BENEFICIAL
TO PARENTS?

Sarah says THIS
ANNOUNCEMENT IS A HUGE MISSED
OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING, AND
I WOULD SAY 5 WEEKS IS NOT
REALLY A NUMBER, IT SHOULD BE
SOME MUCH LARGER NUMBER.
IF YOU'RE GOING TO EQUALIZE THE
EXPERIENCE OF MEN AND WOMEN
BEING OUT OF WORK DURING THE
TIME WHEN A CHILD COMES INTO THE
HOME, IT CAN'T BE THAT THE WOMEN
TAKE A YEAR AND THE MEN TAKE
FIVE WEEKS, IT REALLY SHOULD BE
A LONGER STINT SO THAT THE
EXPERIENCE OF BEING OUT OF WORK
IS COMPARABLE ACROSS THE TWO.
SO I FEEL LIKE THIS IS THE
SINGLE BIGGEST MISSED
OPPORTUNITY OF THIS POLICY, WAS
TO DO ANYTHING AROUND USE IT OR
LOSE IT FOR, IN THE CASE OF
HETEROSEXUAL COUPLES, WHERE
THERE'S A MALE PARENT, WHERE
THAT PARENT IS NOT BEING
EXPECTED TO BE ALSO BE OUT.

Nam says MAYA, ARE THERE
POLICIES THAT YOU HAVE IN PLACE
AT THE YMCA TO ENCOURAGE MALE
EMPLOYEES TO TAKE PARENTAL LEAVE?

Maya says WE DO AT SOME OF
OUR MEMBER YWCAS.
BUT AS OBVIOUSLY AS AN EMPLOYER
WHO WANTS TO SUPPORT MEN AND
WOMEN IN OUR WORK FORCE, IT HAS
US THINKING ABOUT HOW WE CAN DO
A BETTER JOB BECAUSE AT THE END
OF THE DAY YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR
GOOD STAFF, YOU WANT TO RETAIN
THEM.
AND IF THEY'RE NOT FEELING
COMFORTABLE, THAT CREATES
PROBLEMS.
SO IT HAS OPENED UP
CONVERSATIONS FOR US AS AN
EMPLOYER.

Nam says HOW ABOUT YOU, SARAH,
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO?

Sarah says WELL, AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, I THINK
THEY HAVE FAIRLY GOOD POLICIES
AND OBVIOUSLY BEING, YOU KNOW,
FUNDED BY THE GOVERNMENT, WE TRY
TO BE SENSITIVE TO THOSE KINDS
OF ISSUES.
IT'S ALSO EASIER CERTAINLY AMONG
ACADEMIC STAFF BECAUSE OUR
SCHEDULES DON'T OPERATE THE
REGULAR DAY JOBS OPERATE.
SO IT MAY NOT BE THE BEST
COMPARISON.
BUT MY GENERAL SENSE IS THAT
WHEN WE ARE THINKING ABOUT THESE
KINDS OF POLICIES, THE CONCERN
HAS BEEN NOW FOCUSED ON THE
MATERNITY LEAVE OR THE PATERNITY
LEAVE.
I THINK THERE'S A HUGE
OPPORTUNITY THERE.
BUT THE OTHER PROBLEM WITH THE
18 MONTHS FOR ME PERSONALLY IS
THE FACT THAT IT IS BASICALLY
COMPENSATING FOR THE LACK OF
CHILD CARE OUT THERE.
IF CHILD CARE SERVICES ARE NOT
AVAILABLE, THEN IT IS
ADVANTAGEOUS TO HAVE THE PARENTS
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO STAY
HOME FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF
TIME.
BUT THAT'S REALLY MAKING UP FOR
ANOTHER DEFICIT, WHICH IS THAT A
LOT OF CHILD CARE SERVICES
EITHER AREN'T AVAILABLE OR
AREN'T AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN
UNDER 18 MONTHS.
SO THEY'RE BASICALLY
SUBSTITUTING A PARENTAL LEAVE
POLICY FOR ACTUALLY IMPROVING
CHILD CARE, WHICH IS WHERE I
THINK THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON
WOMEN'S CAREER AND WORK FORCE
PARTICIPATION IS GOING TO COME.

Nam says WHAT DO YOU THINK WE
CAN LEARN FROM THE PROVINCE OF
QUEBEC AND WHAT THEY'RE DOING?

The caption changes to "Meanwhile, in Quebec..."

Maya says A LOT.
WE HAVE A NUMBER OF YWCAS IN QUEBEC.
I'VE HAD COLLEAGUES DESCRIBE TO
ME, BECAUSE THEY HAVE A SPECIFIC
AMOUNT OF TIME ALLOCATED TO
FATHERS, I'VE HAD WOMEN DESCRIBE
TO ME, YOU KNOW, THEY SIT DOWN
WITH THEIR PARTNER AND FOLD A
PIECE OF PAPER IN HALF AND START
TO IDENTIFY WHO IS TAKING HOW
MANY WEEKS, WHAT ARE THE
HOUSEHOLD RESPONSIBILITIES GOING
TO LOOK LIKE, AND THAT'S ALSO
BACKED UP BY THE RESEARCH THAT
WHEN YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC AMOUNT
OF TIME ALLOCATED FOR FATHERS,
THAT THE HOUSEHOLD
RESPONSIBILITIES START TO SHIFT.
SO A LOT OF THAT UNPAID LABOUR
BECOMES MORE EQUITABLY DIVIDED,
AND IT GIVES AN OPPORTUNITY TO
HAVE A DISCUSSION AS PARTNERS.
THE OTHER GOOD THING ABOUT THE
QUEBEC MODEL IS IT ALSO APPLIES
TO SAME-SEX COUPLES AND ALSO
PARENTS CAN COME IN AND OUT A
LITTLE BIT.
THEY CAN STILL KEEP THEIR FOOT
POTENTIALLY WORK PART TIME AND
WORK UP TO 25 percent WITHOUT
COMPROMISING THEIR BENEFITS.
SO IT GIVES EMPLOYERS A CHANCE
TO ALSO NOT BE AS CONCERNED THAT
THE EMPLOYEE IS GOING TO BECOME
DESKILLED DURING THIS PERIOD.

Sarah says I JUST WANT
TO ADD ONE THING WE KNOW, THAT
WHEN THE QUEBEC LAW WAS PUT IN
PLACE FOR THE FIVE WEEKS, FOR
THE USE IT OR LOSE IT FIVE WEEKS
FOR MALE PARENTS, THAT THE USE
OF PARENTAL LEAVE FOR MEN WENT
FROM 10 percent TO 80 percent.
SO THE MOMENT YOU FRAME THIS AS
YOU'LL LOSE THIS BENEFIT IF YOU
DON'T GET IT, AND WE KNOW THIS
FROM BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMICS THAT
FRAMING SOMETHING AS A LOSS
MAKES PEOPLE PICK IT UP MORE
OFTEN, WE HAD THIS HUGE UPTAKE
SO THERE IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO
HAVE THE KIND OF CONVERSATIONS
THAT MAYA IS DESCRIBING.

Nam says DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD
BE FOCUSING ON HAVING BETTER DAY
CARE OPTIONS OR INCLUDING MEN
MORE IN THE CONVERSATION OR,
AGAIN, HETEROSEXUAL
RELATIONSHIPS, IN THE CONTEXT OF
PARENTAL LEAVE?

Maya says I THINK ONE OF
THE REASONS THAT UPTAKE HAS BEEN
TAKEN IN QUEBEC THE SAY SARAH IS
DESCRIBING IS YOU HAVE A MUCH
MORE COMPARABLE DAY CARE MODEL.
IT HAS TO BE HAND IN GLOVE.
WITHOUT AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE
CHILD CARE, I KNOW FOR A LOT OF
RACIALIZED WOMEN, NOT ONLY IS
THIS POLICY... IT'S NOT ON OUR
AGENDA BECAUSE WE CAN'T HIT
THOSE 600 HOURS TO QUALIFY IN
THE FIRST PLACE.
BUT WHAT ENDS UP HAPPENING IS A
LOT OF OUR KIDS END UP IN
UNREGULATED DAY CARES WHERE IT
IS 2 OR 3 dollars AN HOUR.
THIS POLICY IS NOT COLOUR-BLIND.
WHAT HAPPENS IS THE EFFECTS GET
TO THE MORE MARGINALIZED IN
SOCIETY.

Nam says THE CANADIAN
FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT
BUSINESSES CONDUCTED A POLL OF
SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED
BUSINESSES AND 69 percent OF THE
RESPONDENTS WERE EITHER OPPOSED
OR STRONGLY OPPOSED TO THE
EXTENDED PARENTAL LEAVE PLAN.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS
THAT THEY FORESEE COMING?

The caption changes to "A business perspective."

Sarah says I THINK THE
MAIN PROBLEM IS, IF YOU'RE IN A
VERY LARGE CORPORATION AND
SOMEONE GOES OUT FOR 18 MONTHS,
YOU MAY HAVE SOMEONE WHO CAN YOU
CAN TEMPORARILY SLOT INTO THAT
JOB, YOU HAVE MORE RESOURCES TO
COVER FOR THAT.
BUT WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A
SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESS, I
DON'T THINK ANY OF THESE
BUSINESSES ARE OPPOSED
PHILOSOPHICALLY TO THE IDEA THAT
PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE GOOD PARENTAL
LEAVE.
BUT THEY'RE JUST TRYING TO
FIGURE OUT, HOW DO I RUN MY
BUSINESS EFFECTIVELY?
I HAVE SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO
BE OUT NOW 18 MONTHS.
MAYBE THEY'RE GOING TO GET
DESKILLED IN THIS FAST-PACED
ECONOMY, YOU HAVE SOMEONE ELSE
FILLING IN, AND THEN YOU HAVE TO
TELL THAT PERSON, OH, WELL, YOU
DON'T HAVE THE JOB AFTER 18
MONTHS BECAUSE I HAVE TO GIVE
THAT SLOT BACK TO THE PERSON
WHO'S BEEN OUT FOR 18 MONTHS.
WHICH MAKES IT HARDER TO
MOTIVATE THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE
DOING THE TEMPORARY WORK FOR
THOSE 18 MONTHS TO REALLY
PERFORM AT THEIR BEST.
SO IT'S NOT THAT ANYONE I THINK
IS OPPOSED TO THESE KINDS OF
POLICIES EXCEPT FOR IT JUST
MAKES WORK FORCE PLANNING
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

Nam says HOW IS IT GOING TO
AFFECT THOSE COMPANIES TO TOP UP
THE E.I. FOR THE PARENTS ON
PARENTAL LEAVE?

Maya says WE WOULD HOLD IT
WOULD ALLOW THEM TO RETAIN THE
BEST EMPLOYEES BUT I THINK AS
SARAH WAS POINTING OUT, THE WAY
THE ECONOMY MOVES IN A LOT OF
THESE FEDERALLY REGULATED
INDUSTRIES, IF YOU'RE IN I.T.,
TELECOMMUNICATIONS, THE CODING
LANGUAGE IS CHANGING AND OUT OF
DATE EVERY 6 TO 9 MONTHS.
THAT'S NOT FAIR TO THE EMPLOYEE
COMING BACK.
IT DOES CREATE A LOT OF H.R.
PRESSURES.
EVEN IN THE NOT FOR PROFIT
SECTOR, OUR GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
WE HAVE NEW OUTCOMES AND TARGETS
EVERY 12 TO 18 MONTHS.
EVEN FOR US IT WOULD MEAN A LOT
OF TRAINING, A LOT OF UPSCALING
ON THE JOB, WE MAY OR MAY NOT BE
ABLE TO DO AS A CHARITY.

Nam says IF YOU COULD, KNOWING
WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS,
AND I KNOW THIS IS SOMETHING
IMPORTANT FOR BOTH OF YOU, WHAT
RECOMMENDATIONS COULD YOU GIVE
TO THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE THIS WORK BETTER.
SARAH?

The caption changes to "A plan for everyone?"

Sarah says UNFORTUNATELY
THE HORSE IS OUT OF THE BARN IN
THE SENSE THAT I THINK THE
GOVERNMENT IS NOT GOING TO BE
ABLE TO WALK BACK THE 18 MONTHS
AFTER HAVING ANNOUNCED IT, WHICH
I THINK IS UNFORTUNATE.
WHAT I'M TRYING TO THINK ABOUT
NOW IS, HOW DO YOU FIX THIS?
AND I THINK THERE'S A COUPLE OF
FIXES THAT WOULD BE REALLY
IMPORTANT.
ONE WOULD BE, AS THE QUEBEC
MODEL, TO ALLOW FOR PEOPLE TO
WORK PART TIME DURING THOSE 18
MONTHS SO THEY'RE NOT LOSING THE
E.I. BENEFITS, AT THE SAME TIME
THEY'RE NOT LOSING THE SKILLS
AND OTHER THINGS LIKE THAT.
THE SECOND THING IS, TO BE ABLE
TO INTRODUCE SOME PORTION OF
THAT BEING A USE IT OR LOSE IT
FOR THE OTHER PARENT.
SO IF WE'RE GOING UP TO 18
MONTHS, MAYBE IT'S 12 MONTHS FOR
ONE, BUT THE OTHER... THE OTHER
6 MONTHS HAVE TO BE TAKEN BY THE
OTHER SPOUSE.
I DON'T KNOW IF THEY CAN DO THAT
GIVEN ALL THE POLITICAL
CONSTRAINTS AND WHAT THEY'VE
ANNOUNCED, BUT THOSE WOULD BE
THE TWO FIXES I WOULD RECOMMEND.

Nam says FOR NEWCOMERS, ARE
THERE SPECIFIC ISSUES FOR HOW
PARENTAL LEAVE PLAYS OUT FOR
THEM IN CANADA?

Maya says YES.
FOR NEWCOMERS, IF WE NEED TO
WORK A MINIMUM OF 600 HOURS,
ESPECIALLY FOR NEWCOMER WOMEN
AND MEN, THERE'S ALREADY... WE
KNOW THAT THERE'S LOWER LABOUR
FORCE PARTICIPATION BUT ALSO
MUCH HIGHER DISCRIMINATION.
SO FOR THEM TO HIT THOSE 600
HOURS TO EVEN BE ELIGIBLE, IT'S
A PROBLEM.
SO THEN I WOULD REALLY LOOK AT
OTHER KINDS OF POLICY SOLUTIONS
THAT ARE ADDRESSING ISSUES OF
PRECARIOUS WORK.
IF YOU'RE WORKING TWO OR THREE
SURVIVAL JOBS, THIS IS SORT OF
THE LAST THING ON YOUR MIND.
SO BEING ABLE TO ACCESS IT...

Nam says PEOPLE FREELANCING
THEY WOULD HAVE TO HAVE THE 600
HOURS TO QUALIFY.

Sarah says IF YOU'RE FREELANCING YOU
HAVE TO HAVE 6,880 dollars OF INCOME
AND HAVE OPTED INTO THE E.I.
SYSTEM IN ORDER TO QUALIFY OR
YOU HAVE TO WORK THE 600 HOURS
OF WORK IN A FIRM.
IT'S HUGELY PROBLEMATIC AND I
THINK THAT'S PARTLY BECAUSE THE
WAY THE CANADIAN SYSTEM WAS
DEVELOPED WAS THROUGH E.I.,
WHICH IS NOT EVERY COUNTRY THAT
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, SOME OF THE
BEST PRACTICE COUNTRIES, DON'T
FUND IT THROUGH E.I. AND THAT
CREATES THIS OTHER CONSTRAINT ON
THE WAY THAT OUR LEAVE IS
STRUCTURED BECAUSE IT HAPPENS
THROUGH E.I.

Maya says I THINK NOT JUST
FOR NEWCOMERS BUT EVEN FOR
MILLENNIALS, EVEN MANY
MILLENNIALS WOULDN'T QUALIFY AND
THEY HAVE THE CRUNCH OF STUDENT
LOANS AND UNAFFORDABLE RENT.
I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE AN
ONGOING DISCUSSION.

The caption changes to "Producer: Gregg Thurlbeck, @GreggThurlbeck."

Nam says THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
YOUR INSIGHTS. MAYA ROY AND
SARAH KAPLAN, WE APPRECIATE
YOUR TIME. THANK YOU.

Watch: Parental Leave: More Time with the Kids