The plan to modernize
All Canadians are welcome to provide feedback by visiting the Consulting with Canadians (https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/consultation-better-program.html) website. This phase of consultations will explore the adequacy of EI benefits, in particular by examining whether the amount and duration of EI benefits meet the objectives of the program and the needs of those contributing to EI. It will also focus on the financial sustainability of the EI program by balancing costs with benefits and limiting the need for premium increases. Roundtable discussions will take place with worker and employer groups and other EI experts beginning in mid-May. The consultations will run until
To help inform Canadians, the Government has also released a What We Heard (https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/reports/consultations-what-we-heard-phase1.html) report, which summarizes the key takeaways from the first phase of consultations.
The Government heard about the importance of reforming the EI program so that it is simpler, more responsive, inclusive and sustainable. The system must evolve to support different kinds of workers, including gig workers and self-employed workers. It needs to better support workers in their times of need while promoting attachment to the workforce, particularly during times of labour shortages.
Budget 2022 reaffirms the Government’s commitment to building an EI program that includes simpler and fairer rules for workers and employers, new ways to support experienced workers transitioning to a new career, and coverage for self-employed and gig workers. It also renews the Government’s commitment to implement other important changes to the EI program. This includes increasing EI sickness benefits for Canadians who are facing illness or injury from 15 weeks to 26 weeks later this year. To help seasonal workers, Budget 2022 also proposes to extend measures that add five additional weeks of regular benefits to seasonal claimants in 13 targeted EI economic regions until
The Government will develop and release its long-term plan for the future of EI after the second phase of consultations conclude in 2022.
“The last two years have shown us just how important EI is, but also how much better
– Minister of Employment,
“Workers share our view that the EI program must adapt to better meet the needs of
“Employers play a critical role in the EI program. Over the last several months we have heard clearly from our stakeholders about the importance of considering costs to the EI program and the need to better understand the implications of proposed reforms. Changes to the EI program should be considered in the context of today’s economy and labour market realities. In the second phase of consultations, we will take a deeper dive into these issues and more, with an aim of balancing the needs of employers and employees to better serve the needs of our evolving economy.”
* Budget 2021 (https://www.budget.gc.ca/2021/home-accueil-en.html) invested
* The first phase of the consultations focused on changing nature of work, access to EI, simplifying EI, self-employed and gig workers, life events, seasonal work and the Premium Reduction Program.
* In addition to the opening and closing roundtables, Minister Qualtrough and the EI commissioners hosted four national stakeholder roundtables on the themes of access to EI, life events, and self-employed and gig workers. The Government also hosted 11 virtual regional stakeholder roundtables, one in each province and one in the territories. There were also four officials-led roundtables on seasonal work and the Premium Reduction Program.
* The online consultations generated more than 1,900 responses to the online questionnaire from individuals across the country and more than 70 written submissions from groups and individuals representing employers, workers and unions.
* These EI consultations are building on previous work such as the review of the EI program conducted by the
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Report link: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/reports/consultations-what-we-heard-phase1.html https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/reports/service-quality-review-report.html#h2.3