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Canada’s MPs to get 1 year of fully paid parental leave

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould pauses to talk to reporters as she carries her three-month-old baby boy Oliver Gerones following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Canada's MPs will soon be eligible to take a 12-month paid parental leave.
Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould pauses to talk to reporters as she carries her three-month-old baby boy Oliver Gerones following a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Canada's MPs will soon be eligible to take a 12-month paid parental leave. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s Members of Parliament will now be eligible to take a 12-month, fully paid parental leave.

READ MORE: Federal minister welcomes son, makes history as 1st cabinet member to give birth in office

On Wednesday the House of Commons unanimously approved a parental leave program that will enable MPs to take up to a year away from the chamber without penalty. Pregnant MPs will also not be penalized for missing work in the four weeks before their due date.

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The leave applies to parents of newly born and newly adopted children.

While Canada allows eligible new parents to share up to 18 months of partially-paid leave after the birth of a child — along with a new use-it-or-lose-it leave for non-birthing parents — MPs until now have not been able to do the same.

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Thousands of Canadian parents opting for new 18-month parental leave
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Members of Parliament do not pay into Employment Insurance and as such, have not qualified for parental leave.

New parent MPs have been allowed to take 21 days of medical leave but after that, have been docked pay if they do not show up for work in the House of Commons.

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Any time off in addition to the medical leave was to be negotiated with the party leadership.

The new parental leave rules will take effect immediately.

— With files from Global News reporter Amanda Connolly

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