Employment Insurance Changes to Come Into Effect on January 6, 2013
December 20, 2012
Issue: New rules requiring employment insurance recipients to look for work within an hour’s commute are finalized and will come into effect on January 6, 2013.
Objective: Ensure RCC members are aware of the changes to Employment Insurance (Note the web links below).
Background: In the 2012 federal budget, the federal government did not renew the Extended Employment Insurance Benefits Pilot Project, which had been in place since 2004 and implemented in 21 different areas of Canada with high unemployment. The program had added an additional 5 weeks of EI for claimants but with the cancellations, EI benefits will now run out after 23 weeks.
The federal government’s latest initiative is entitled Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs (CCAJ). CCAJ introduced several changes intended to, “enable quicker returns to work, including: enhancing the content and frequency of job and labour market information provided to unemployed workers; clarifying claimants' obligations by defining reasonable job search and suitable employment for those in receipt of EI regular or fishing benefits; and, strengthening the coordination between the Temporary Foreign Worker and EI programs to ensure Canadians are considered before temporary foreign workers. These measures combined will result in more Canadians finding work and strengthening the economy. (Frank Vermaeten, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Skills and Employment Branch Human Resources and Skills Development Canada).”
In November, RCC accepted an invitation from the Office of the Commissioner of Employers for Human Resources Skills Development Canada to participate in a stakeholder roundtable with Hon. Diane Finlay, Minister of Human Resources Skills Development Canada. The comments from stakeholders were generally positive as it is felt that these changes should help employers find workers, be it for part time, full time or term employment. One area of concern was the fact that employer premiums will increase annually at a rate of up to seven cents until such time as the Employment Insurance Operating Account is balanced.
Although RCC did speak in favor of the EI changes, we did point out our concern with the increase in employer premiums. RCC also noted the following concerns:
Current Status: RCC members who wish to obtain additional information regarding the latest changes to Employment Insurance can access the following information:
Next Steps: Should members wish to discuss these changes, please contact Jim Cormier, Director Atlantic Canada at the coordinates listed below.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Jim Cormier at: email@example.com or (902) 422-4144.