Can an employer fire an employee before, during or after their maternity leave?
Yes, but only under certain conditions. First, the termination of employment cannot in any way be the result of the employee’s pregnancy or maternity leave. In other words, an employer is only allowed to fire an employee if the termination would have happened in any event (i.e. they would have been fired if they weren’t pregnant or taking maternity leave). Second, any actual termination or notice of termination cannot take effect until after the employee returns from maternity leave. At that time the employee would then be entitled to the notice of termination (or pay in lieu of notice) based on their total service (including your maternity leave).
Is there a minimum amount of time an employee must have worked for an employer before they are entitled to maternity leave?
No, if you are an employer in British Columbia there is no minimum amount of time that an employee must work for you before they are entitled to take maternity leave. However, an employee wishing to take maternity leave must submit a request for maternity leave to you in writing and at least 4 weeks before they propose to begin their leave.