A well-functioning EI program can bolster good jobs in the economy and provide income security for all.
Thanks to the hard work of Unifor members, the federal government is planning changes to Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) system- but they’re not in place yet.
On September 24, all temporary measures that improved our access to EI were allowed to expire.
At the start of COVID, the federal government relaxed EI eligibility to improve access to emergency support for those most in need. Without these supports, it would have been much worse for workers and their families due to the COVID closures, lockdowns and layoffs.
An inaccessible and inadequate EI program is another disaster for workers who need access to EI now when the next crisis hits. That’s why we are demanding the federal government immediately extend the temporary EI measures and implement the following permanent changes:
- Expand EI access:
- A 360-hour or 12-week qualifying rule with 50 weeks of income support
- An end to harsh disqualification rules
- Ensure migrant workers have access to EI
- End misclassification, a practice where employers falsely label their employees as self-employed independent contractors to avoid paying their fair share of EI and CPP.
- Improve the weekly benefit rate and include a guaranteed weekly minimum
- Fund a new, annual federal government contribution to EI to help pay for improvements, provide adequate staffing with fair pay, and ensure EI acts as an effective economic stabilizer at times of crisis.