Survey of Maternity Leave

Detailed information for 1984 (conducted in 1985)




One Time

Record number:


The February 1985 supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is being conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Employment and Immigration Canada (EIC). The Survey of Maternity Leave concerns women who stop working due to pregnancy and/or the birth of a child.

The Government of Canada, and in particular EIC, is currently reviewing their policies concerning maternity leave benefits. In order to do this, they require more detailed information than is currently available.

Data release - September 29, 1995 (online catalogue #89M0004XDB, which can be accessed through the link "Publications in the online catalogue" included in the side bar menu above.)


The survey is being undertaken in an attempt to find out more about:
1) how the work patterns of pregnant women have been affected and
2) how adequate the income support systems for women are (private and public) both before and after the birth of their child. Have these women experienced any difficulties in returning to work afterwards? For women who have chosen not to return to the workforce, what are the reasons for their choice?

The Government of Canada, and in particular EIC, is currently reviewing their policies concerning maternity leave benefits. In order to do this, they require more detailed information than is currently available

Reference period: 1984

Collection period: February 17, 1985 to February 23, 1985


  • Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
  • Labour
  • Labour mobility, turnover and work absences
  • Work transitions and life stages

Data sources and methodology

Target population

For this survey concerning maternity benefits, the sample is comprised of women aged 15 to 50 years of age who were paid employees in 1984 and who were absent from work due to pregnancy for a period of at least two or more consecutive weeks.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

Respondents from rotation groups 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Labour Force Survey were interviewed in February 1985. These respondents were given a supplementary survey called the Absence From Work survey. The Absence From Work survey obtained information about the absences from work (for a period of at least two weeks), by paid employees during 1984, which were due to illness, accident or pregnancy, and about the financial compensation they received as a result. The Survey of Maternity Leave was then given to those individuals where "Pregnancy" was marked in Item 14 or Item 20 of the Absence From Work survey.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: February 17, 1985 to February 23, 1985

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Because of the nature of this survey and the fact that it contains some questions on attitudes and beliefs, it is important to interview the eligible respondent herself. Make no more than two telephone call-backs to try and contact the selected female respondent. If, after two call-backs, you have been unable to contact the person, obtain the information from a knowledgeable and responsible household member. Since the expected sample size for this survey (approximately 1,400 respondents across Canada) is small, it is extremely important to obtain an interview from each eligible respondent.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

The survey was administered to those females who had worked as a paid employee at some time in 1984 and who had at least one period of absence from work of two or more consecutive weeks due to pregnancy. In order to make individuals on the dataset less identifiable, since the sample size is small, the geographic identification has been collapsed from the province level, to the Canada level.

Data accuracy

The response rate was 93.0%.

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