Pregnancy and parental leave

For almost 20 years, the OMA and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care have been helping physicians and their growing families by providing financial support to eligible parents

The Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefit Program allows physician parents to take time away from their practices to recover from childbirth and/or spend time with their child after birth, adoption or surrogacy.


Prior to 2000, maternity coverage for physicians was sparse and excluded those in private practice. To address this inequity, the OMA prioritized the development of a maternity benefits package for physicians, and as part of the 2000 Physician Services Agreement, the OMA successfully negotiated funding for a new program — the Maternity Leave Benefits Program. The MLBP provided female physicians with up to 17 weeks of paid maternity leave, with a maximum benefit amount of $880 per week.

The early program, however, had limitations. It excluded adoption leave for non-biological parents and did not include a parental leave component for physician fathers. In response to member feedback and a clear interest in an expansion to the eligibility criteria, the OMA negotiated additional funding and substantial reforms to the program under the 2004 PSA. As part of this agreement, effective April 1, 2005, the new PPLBP — with its expanded eligibility criteria and enhanced benefit amount (up to $1,000 per week) — replaced the MLBP.

2021 PSA: program update

A number of positive changes have taken effect under the Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefit Program as of April 1, 2022. For all details on this program, including the application form, eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions, please refer to the Ministry of Health website.

Specifically, those leaves that commence on or after April 1, 2022, will have an increased maximum benefit amount of $1,300, a longer eligible leave period of up to 17 weeks, more time to apply and a higher percentage (75 per cent) used to calculate pre-leave income, to name a few of the changes. Additionally, these new benefit parameters will apply to all physician parents, such as those giving birth or otherwise becoming a parent (including adoption and surrogates) and including stillbirth.


A physician must apply and initiate their leave within 12 months of the child joining the parent and the leave must be completed within 12 months of the child joining the parent.

Additionally, the leave does not have to be taken consecutively, but must be taken for no less than two weeks at a time.

It’s very important for all physicians, if possible, to submit their application well before the deadline of 12 months after the birth of their child or discharge from the hospital. Many times, the program area has additional questions and/or the application is not fully complete, pushing the timeline of applying past the 12-month mark. 

It’s also best practice for physicians to save a copy of their application for their records.

Information about parental leave as a practising physician.