Emergency Phone Action: Don't make EI worse! Fix Employment Insurance NOW!


Wednesday, September 07, 2022
11:30 am - 6:30 pm
Online on Zoom
Pam Frache ·
On Wednesday, September 7, we will be hosting 2 emergency phone actions:
  • 11:30 am to 12:15 pm ET (8:30 am to 9:15 am PT and 12:30 pm to 1:15 pm AT)
  • 6:00 pm to 6:45 pm ET (3:00 pm to 3:45 pm PT and 7:00 to 7:45 pm AT)
Please RSVP to receive the Zoom information, and please sign/share the petition

On September 24, all temporary measures that improved our access to EI will expire. It's urgent we extend the Recovery Measures as a bridge to permanent EI improvements. Workers will otherwise face 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 at particular risk.

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.