Changes to the Parental Leave Assistance Program

On November 22, 2012, Convocation approved an extension of the Parental Leave Assistance Program (PLAP) and the adoption of a means test by which an applicant must have a net annual practice income of less than $50,000 to be eligible for the program.

The means test is effective as of January 1, 2014

Launched in March 2009, PLAP provides financial benefits to practising lawyers in firms of five lawyers or fewer who do not have access to other maternity, parental, or adoption financial benefits under public or private plans — and who meet the eligibility criteria.

Under PLAP, the Law Society provides a fixed sum of $750 a week to eligible applicants for up to 12 weeks (maximum $9,000 per leave, per family unit) to cover, among other things, expenses associated with maintaining their practice during a maternity, parental or adoption leave.

The Equity and Aboriginal Affairs Committee will continue to explore options to meet the objectives of PLAP in keeping women in practice by reducing the financial hardship faced by lawyers in sole and small firms during parental leaves.

More information, including eligibility criteria and FAQs, are available online.