New parents will now have the option of an extended leave to care for their child..
The federal government introduced changes lat week to allow spreading employment insurance benefits over 18 months, instead of 12 in the form of either a combined maternity or parental leave.
Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the changes will give families more flexibility.
"We want a system that responds better to the needs of the conditions of families by making it easier for families to decide what's best for them when it comes to supporting their parental efforts."
Duclos says they estimate around 20 thousand families will choose this more flexible approach.
These changes are getting mixed reviews.
Some groups say because the changes come with additional time, but no additional money, many families won't be able to afford the time off.