Angela Smele

  • Reinstate the rules that made it easier to get EI and Fix Employment Insurance permanently!

    It's urgent we reinstate the temporary recovery measures that made it easier to get EI as a bridge to permanent improvements. Workers are already facing a huge jump in the current minimum of 420 qualifying hours for both Regular and Special Benefits (parental, sickness, etc), and the allocation/clawback of separation payments. Women, workers of colour, and others in precarious jobs are being disproportionately harmed by the government's inaction.

    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. As a Statistics Canada report shows, the positive impact of an accessible EI system on workers' lives is undeniable. [1]

    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.

    [1] "Pandemic benefits cushion losses for low-income earners and narrow income inequality." Statistics Canada. July 13th, 2022.

    Please add your name to the petition to fix employment insurance:

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    Join the Movement

    We want to change the laws to ensure every worker has decent work and wages as well as respect and dignity on the job. Hundreds of workers in low-wage, part-time and precarious employment have identified the following 10 essential priorities for a decent work agenda that - if implemented - would better protect all of us. We hope you’ll join the movement.

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    Join the movement for decent work for all! 

    Join the Justice for Workers campaign: together we'll change the laws so every worker has decent work, fairer wages, and respect at work.

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