Feds looking for more feedback on EI changes

Second phase of consultations a ‘deeper dive’ to balance needs of employers and employees in 'evolving economy'

Feds looking for more feedback on EI changes

The federal government had launched the second phase of its consultations to make longer-term improvements to Canada’s employment insurance (EI) program.

"The last two years have shown us just how important EI is, but also how much better Canada's system could be. That's why we're working closely with employers, workers, unions and other partners across the country to make EI fairer, simpler, and more flexible,” says Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion.

“Modernizing a system that serves millions of Canadians each year will have serious implications on our economy and its workforce, and we're taking the time needed to get it right."

This phase of the consultations will focus on 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 look into the financial sustainability of the EI program by balancing costs with benefits and limiting the need for premium increases.

Stakeholders can provide feedback through this page. The government will also hold roundtable discussions with worker and employer groups and other EI experts beginning in mid-May. The consultation period will end July 29, 2022.

Canadians can learn about the key takeaways from the first phase of consultations via the What We Heard report from the government.

More than 1,900 Canadians and 200 stakeholder groups participated in the first phase of the consultations from August 2021 to February 2022.

"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,” says Nancy Healey, commissioner for Employers, Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

“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."

Under Budget 2022, Ottawa is increasing EI sickness benefits for Canadians who are facing illness or injury from 15 weeks to 26 weeks later this year. It also proposes to extend measures that add five additional weeks of regular benefits to seasonal claimants in 13 targeted EI economic regions until October 2023. This will benefit seasonal workers.

Last year, the government also proposed in its 2021 Budget an investment of $3.9 billion over three years, starting in 2021-22, for a suite of legislative changes to make EI more accessible.

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