They say that the first few weeks of a child's life are when it really forms a bond with its parents. So, it's natural that a new mother would want to take some time away from work in order to be there for her child during that time. But before you can start planning for how much time you're going to be able to take off you're going to need to know a little about the maternity leave that's offered by the government and the company that you're working for. Here is some basic information and some questions that you should ask your employer.

No matter what type of work you're in, there are some benefits that are offered through EI (employment insurance) for maternity leave with most governments. If you have worked a certain number of hours over the course of so many weeks or from the last time that you took leave than you are entitled to a maximum of the set amount of weeks. When you file your claim and expect to leave your will factor into how much time you are allotted, so you should make sure you know all of the regulations months before you plan to file.

There are some times when you are able to apply for extra time or different kinds of leave that are associated to having a child. If your baby is in hospital for a time, whether it's treating pneumonia or for a chiropractic assessment; during your leave than you could be eligible to extend your time off with pay. Those that have a miscarriage also might have a chance of taking some time away from work to recover with benefits. Parental benefits are available for up to a combined 35 weeks and can extend to adoptive parents or fathers. If you are like Debbie Smith and work for an injury lawyer, you may only have to visit the office one day a week and the rest of the time work remotely from home while caring for her baby.

When taking on a new job, if you're thinking that having children might factor into the equation down the road, you should take the time to ask about maternity leave. There might be something in the company handbook or you can speak with someone in human resources. If you're trying to work your way up the ladder within a company you may be worried how this will affect your future with the company. While it is true that there are still some companies who will promote a man without these obligations before a woman, this is becoming a more rare thing across the board. You should never feel like you're putting your career in jeopardy by wanting to spend that extra time at home with your family. Look to what other new mothers within your company have done and see if you can follow a similar path.

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