Changes to Pregnancy Leave Program

One of the improvements achieved in the 2007 Physician Master Agreement was the expansion of the Pregnancy Leave Program to a full Parental Leave Program effective 1 April 2010.

The current Pregnancy Leave Program provides a benefit for female physicians who take a leave from practice following the birth of a child. Their leave may be started up to 11 weeks before their expected due date and no later than the actual date of birth of the child. The maximum benefit is $880 per week, based on eligible income, and is payable for up to 17 weeks.

Under the Parental Leave Program the weekly benefit maximum will in­crease and both male and female phy­sicians will be eligible for a benefit. 

The program covers leaves taken as a result of pregnancy of an eligible physician or the physician’s spouse, or the adoption of a child. A physician who has a child by surrogate will be eligible for a benefit if he or she meets the other criteria for the program.

Unlike the current program, two physicians who are married or living common law can each claim a benefit and can take their leaves together or consecutively. Leave(s) can start up to 11 weeks before the expected birth or placement date of a child and no later than 18 weeks following the date of birth or placement. Each physician planning to claim benefits must complete an application package.

The benefit will be 50% of the phy­sician’s average weekly eligible in­come during the calendar year prior to the start of the leave (or in the 12 months immediately prior to the leave, if this produces a larger benefit), up to $1000 per week. “Eligible income” includes MSP fee-for-service and/or sessional billings and/or payments made under a nonsalaried service contract.

Benefits must be greater than $25 per week to be payable.

A benefit will not be paid for any week in which the claimant earns eligible income from the practice of medicine or receives any other maternity, pregnancy, or parental leave benefit from another program. Claimants must make a weekly declaration of their eligibility to receive a benefit, online via the BCMA web site.

Benefits will be payable weekly via direct deposit to the claimant’s bank account.

The benefits will be taxable and T4As will be issued to recipients in February for benefits received in the previous calendar year. Incorporated physicians may have their benefit payments deposited to a corporate bank account, in which case a T4A will not be issued.

Claimants who do not return to the practice of medicine in British Columbia for at least 17 weeks no later than 52 weeks after their child’s date of birth or placement will be required to repay their benefits on a pro-rata basis.

If you or your spouse is pregnant and planning to take a leave from practice beginning on or after 1 April 2010, you can contact Ms Lorie Arlitt, Paren­tal Leave Program Administrator at the BCMA, for an application package. Lorie can be reached at 604 638-2882, or toll free in BC at 1 800 665-2262 ext. 2882 or by email at

Please note: All leaves begun up to 31 March 2010 will be subject to the rules of the Pregnancy Leave Program.

. Changes to Pregnancy Leave Program . BCMJ, Vol. 52, No. 1, January, February, 2010, Page(s) 37 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply