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Having more than one child to look after? Here is a worry-free option! Both parents are allowed to apply for parental leave allowances at the same time, respectively for each eligible child

Fluttered for having to look after the twins all on your own? Having financial concerns when both parents wish to take parental leave at the same time? Don’t worry! Parents who are both covered by employment insurance and need to simultaneously take care of two or more children under 3 are entitled to, in accordance with the Act of Gender Equality in Employment Insurance, apply for unpaid parental leave at the same time. If they are also eligible for parental leave allowances, they may in the meantime claim for the allowance against different children and continue participating in the exiting social insurance.

According to the Employment Insurance Act, parents who are both eligible for parental leave allowances should file their applications separately. Simultaneous application will not be accepted. In practice, however, the Bureau of Labor Insurance (BLI) has received frequent feedback from the public that it would be exhausting for the multiple-children families if only one of the parents is allowed to apply for parental leave allowances. There is also concern on the quality of childcare. To meet the practical needs of these families, the Ministry of Labor has relaxed the regulations in August, 2018 through an administrative interpretation letter. Parents are now allowed to apply for parental leave allowances for different children at the same time.

The BLI provided an example. For an eligible couple with twins, they may apply for unpaid parental leave simultaneously. They may, in the meantime, apply for parental leave allowances respectively in the name of different child and receive a total allowance (for two children) equal to 24 months of the parental leave allowances. The allowance will be received in one year's time.

Finally, the BLI reminded all workers that, for couples who only have one child under the age of 3, they are only eligible to apply for the allowance separately and for different period of time. Simultaneous application will not be accepted.
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Last Update:2020-10-14