Do group benefits continue if an employee is absent from work due to maternity or sick leave?

Maternity Leave

In this situation the employee is still considered full time, for the duration of leave, as stated under the Employment Standards Act (a maximum of 52 weeks). Their benefits remain continuous as long as premiums are paid.
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/jobs/workplace/employment_standards/labour/leave.page

If benefits are paid 100% by the employer the employer will continue to pay the premium for the absent employee. In a case where benefits premium is split between the employer and employee, the employee can arrange to pay their employer each month for their portion of the premium, or, they can terminate their benefits until they return to work.

In most cases, there are no penalties for terminating coverage and little to no waiting period to re-enroll as long as the re-enrollment application is submitted to the insurer within 31 days of returning to work.

Sick Leave

If an employee must take sick leave their group benefits will continue as long as premiums are paid.

The absentee is still considered a full time employee for the duration of leave, as stated under the Employment Standards Act. (Maximum of 17 weeks). http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/reports/labour_standards/sick_leave.page

If benefits are paid 100% by the employer the employer will continue to pay the premium for the absent employee. In a case where benefits premium is split between the employer and employee, the employee can arrange to pay their employer each month for their portion of the premium, or, they can terminate their benefits until they return to work.

In most cases, there are no penalties for terminating coverage and little to no waiting period to reenroll as long as the reenrollment application is submitted to the insurer within 31 days of returning to work.

***Please consult your benefits provider for more information related to your specific group benefits plan. For more information on maternity and sick leave in BC, please visit the links provided.***

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