Statistics Canada data released in July shows that less than 40% of Canada's jobless are eligible for Employment Insurance, even though the vast majority of workers pay into the program.
Never before has Canada seen such a small proportion of the unemployed receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
"How is it acceptable to be accumulating annual surpluses in the EI account, when 63% of unemployed workers aren't receiving any benefits?" asked Hassan Yussuf, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "EI is an important component of our social safety net that is being torn to shreds by this government."
Part time, casual, undermployed, and temporary workers have difficulty meeting EI's eligibility requirements, which favour full time workers. This is despite the fact that almost all workers - including precarious workers - pay into the EI program.
Workers in Canada, if they meet the stringent eligibility requirements, can today expect to receive just 55 percent of their earnings up to a maximum of $500 per week for no more than 45 weeks—although workers can now be cut off sooner due to a series of new, restrictive rules.
Many advocates, such as the Workers Action Centre, the NDP, and the Canadian Labour Congress, are calling for the Conservative Government to fix EI. Their proposed improvements to EI include: reducing the number of hours someone needs to work before they qualify for EI to 360 hours, and raising the amount of weekly benefits to 70% of a worker's former wage.
CALM has Fix EI infographics for you to publish to educate your members about the problems with EI. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you need access to the graphic design files.
Share PSAC's cool video on employment insurance.
EI infographic sources
"Low income measures for household size four person", Statistics Canada