This is a guest post by a fellow working mom who wanted to share her story but wished to remain anonymous (for obvious reasons). All I can say is that I am glad it didn’t happen to me!
However, while she is on leave she is still required to pay the benefit premiums, even though she isn’t being paid By her employer. And to the best of my Googling abilities, I couldn’t find much information about this, other than “your employer should discuss your benefits with you before your leave begins”.
The first time I was on mat leave I didn’t have to pay anything. I only had a drug plan, and my employer paid the premiums. But, sometime between then (it was three years ago) and now, they signed me up for long term disability insurance. I was apparently paying $110 a month for it.
Is it my fault I didn’t notice. Partially. I have never paid close attention to all the deductions that come off my pay. Since I lose over 40% of it, it makes me shudder just to think about thinking about it! LOL
However, since I was only given a benefit card with nothing but a number on it and no paperwork or book explaining my benefits and how they work, I also blame my employer.
You see, they neglected to say anything to me before I went on leave and now, eight months later, they wrote to inform me that I owe them over $1000! And when your yearly income is reduced to less than 40% of what you normally earn, that is a huge chunk of money.
I called the Employment Standards of Canada Hotline to see if I was on the hook or not, and they said I was. They said I should have asked my employer before I went on leave, it wasn’t their responsibility to tell me. Very helpful…not!
I went on leave in December and with Christmas coming, new baby soon to arrive and struggling to work and care for a toddler, I had so many things to think about. Plus, since I didn’t have to pay anything the first time, why would I think that just two years later I would?
So ladies and gents, be aware. If you are taking maternity or parental leave be sure to discuss your benefit premiums with your employer before you go. Otherwise you could end up owing a bunch of money you didn’t budget for.
If you are interested in becoming a guest writer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A Happy Relationship Means Having Your Own Bank Account
- Maternity and Parental Leave Part 1 – The Basics (gameofdiapers.com)
- Maternity Leave: What Do You Think? (gameofdiapers.com)