Taking time off work: For new and expecting parents
How do I qualify for these EI benefits?
Employment Insurance (EI) rules have changed because of COVID-19. As of September 27, 2020, if you're applying for EI parental or maternity benefits for the first time, you only need 120 hours of insurable work for your first EI application during COVID-19.
These changes are expected to last for one year, until September 25, 2021.
Usually, you need to have worked at least 600 hours in the last 12 months. In some cases, you can go back more than 12 months. But if you received EI benefits any time in the last 12 months, you can only count the time since those benefits started.
Any hours you were on paid leave are counted as hours worked.
If you have received a notice of violation for breaking EI rules any time in the past 5 years, you will need more than 600 hours.