The government is reviewing a program that lets employers offer paid parental leave for the first two months of a child’s school years to parents who can prove their kids are doing well.
The idea is to ease the strain of parents who must stay home with their children when the school year begins.
But it also raises a thorny question: Are parents who choose paid parental leaves the right to take them away from their children?
And if so, what’s the impact on the economy?
In an editorial in The Globe and Mail, senior research fellow Laura Leach argues that a “fairly small” number of people would take paid leave to take care of sick or injured children.
But if there are many people who would benefit from such an arrangement, “the benefits are likely to be much greater than those which are anticipated.”
The program is known as Paid Parental Leave (PPL).
It offers up to six months of paid leave at a minimum for the third and subsequent years of the child’s education.
The money is paid into a child care fund, which parents can contribute to in their own name.
But there is a catch: The funds must be used by the end of the calendar year.
This means that parents will be required to take unpaid leave only in the year that the child is in school.
The government has not yet announced the full details of the PPL program, but in a statement it said it was “evaluating” it.
If it finds it needs to change, it would likely be through the introduction of new legislation.
That could include creating new rules or setting up new committees to examine how the program works, said Laura Lech.
But she worries that parents may not be aware of the consequences of not taking paid leave.
“I think we’ll end up with a situation where it’s just a matter of whether or not we have the right framework in place,” she said.
“It’s very hard to tell.
We know what it means, and there’s not much we can do about it.”
While the concept of paid parental leaving is new, the idea of parents taking leave for their children has been around for decades.
A recent survey by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that of 1,000 parents who took a leave, more than one in three would prefer to take the leave to care for a sick child.
The study found that 62 per cent of those who took leave said that their parents had made an important contribution to their children’s education, and nearly half said they felt it was important that they were given some of the benefits.
That’s despite the fact that there are still thousands of parents without paid leave, and many of them have other obligations.
Leach said that many parents would be concerned about the economic impact of allowing children to stay home when their parents are away.
“If a child is sick, and parents don’t have the money to pay for treatment, the child will just stay home,” she told the National Post.
“There’s a lot of things that are very important to the parent that you don’t want to lose, and if the parents aren’t doing that, the health of the community is also going to suffer.”
In fact, Leach says the PPF could actually cause economic harm.
While the program would likely help a few parents who would otherwise be forced to leave their children at home, “that could easily result in a lot more parents who are just leaving their children home at home to take paid parental time off when they’re not there.”
Leach notes that paid parental-leave benefits are available to families with children under five, and most parents in her study indicated that they would rather take time off than put their children through school.
“A lot of the benefit goes to the family, not the child,” she says.
Lech said she also found that parents who take paid leaves are more likely to have children who are better able to handle the stress of school.
That is because they are more experienced and have a sense of discipline, which could be especially helpful for kids who may not necessarily be ready for school yet.
But the PPPL program has also been criticized for not doing enough to help families that have other responsibilities.
“The PPPL is very costly, especially when it comes to the expense of childcare,” Leach wrote.
“Many parents have already gone through the hard slog of having to decide whether or how much to spend on childcare, and now that they have a child that they’re worried about and who may have a learning disability, it can be really challenging to make the difficult decision about how much and what kind of care to provide for them.”
Lech added that the PPLL program can be difficult to evaluate.
“Some of these are really difficult questions that you can’t get right the first time, and it’s not just the question of what you do for the family that you’re evaluating,” she explained.
“So it’s important to evaluate the program in terms of