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Employment Insurance Act (S.C. 1996, c. 23)

Act current to 2021-06-03 and last amended on 2021-03-17. Previous Versions

PART IUnemployment Benefits (continued)

Regulations (continued)

Marginal note:Hours of insurable employment

  •  (1) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations for establishing how many hours of insurable employment a person has, including regulations providing that persons whose earnings are not paid on an hourly basis are deemed to have hours of insurable employment as established in accordance with the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Alternative methods

    (2) If the Commission considers that it is not possible to apply the provisions of the regulations, it may authorize an alternative method of establishing how many hours of insurable employment a person has.

  • Marginal note:Alteration or rescission of authorization

    (3) The Commission may at any time alter the authorized method or rescind the authorization, subject to any conditions that it considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Agreement to provide alternative methods

    (4) The Commission may enter into agreements with employers or employees to provide for alternative methods of establishing how many hours of insurable employment persons have and the Commission may at any time rescind the agreements.

PART IIEmployment Benefits and National Employment Service

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Part is to help maintain a sustainable employment insurance system through the establishment of employment benefits for insured participants and the maintenance of a national employment service.

Marginal note:Guidelines

  •  (1) Employment benefits and support measures under this Part shall be established in accordance with the following guidelines:

    • (a) harmonization with provincial employment initiatives to ensure that there is no unnecessary overlap or duplication;

    • (b) reduction of dependency on unemployment benefits by helping individuals obtain or keep employment;

    • (c) co-operation and partnership with other governments, employers, community-based organizations and other interested organizations;

    • (d) flexibility to allow significant decisions about implementation to be made at a local level;

    • (d.1) availability of assistance under the benefits and measures in either official language where there is significant demand for that assistance in that language;

    • (e) commitment by persons receiving assistance under the benefits and measures to

      • (i) achieving the goals of the assistance,

      • (ii) taking primary responsibility for identifying their employment needs and locating services necessary to allow them to meet those needs, and

      • (iii) if appropriate, sharing the cost of the assistance; and

    • (f) implementation of the benefits and measures within a framework for evaluating their success in assisting persons to obtain or keep employment.

  • Marginal note:Working in concert with provincial governments

    (2) To give effect to the purpose and guidelines of this Part, the Commission shall work in concert with the government of each province in which employment benefits and support measures are to be implemented in designing the benefits and measures, determining how they are to be implemented and establishing the framework for evaluating their success.

  • Marginal note:Agreements with provinces

    (3) The Commission shall invite the government of each province to enter into agreements for the purposes of subsection (2) or any other agreements authorized by this Part.

Marginal note:Definition of insured participant

 In this Part, insured participant means an insured person who requests assistance under employment benefits and, when requesting the assistance, is an unemployed person for whom a benefit period is established or whose benefit period has ended within the previous 60 months or an unemployed person who paid, in at least 5 of the last 10 years, employee’s premiums that did not entitle the person to a refund under subsection 96(4).

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 58
  • 2015, c. 36, s. 153
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 216
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 306

Marginal note:Employment benefits for insured participants

 The Commission may establish employment benefits to enable insured participants to obtain employment, including benefits to

  • (a) encourage employers to hire them;

  • (b) encourage them to accept employment by offering incentives such as temporary earnings supplements;

  • (c) help them start businesses or become self-employed;

  • (d) provide them with employment opportunities through which they can gain work experience to improve their long-term employment prospects; and

  • (e) help them obtain skills for employment, ranging from basic to advanced skills.

Marginal note:National employment service

  •  (1) The Commission shall maintain a national employment service to provide information on employment opportunities across Canada to help workers find suitable employment and help employers find suitable workers.

  • Marginal note:Duties of the Commission

    (2) The Commission shall

    • (a) collect information concerning employment for workers and workers seeking employment and, to the extent the Commission considers necessary, make the information available with a view to assisting workers to obtain employment for which they are suited and assisting employers to obtain workers most suitable to their needs; and

    • (b) ensure that in referring a worker seeking employment there will be no discrimination on a prohibited ground of discrimination within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act or because of political affiliation, but nothing in this paragraph prohibits the national employment service from giving effect to

      • (i) any limitation, specification or preference based on a bona fide occupational requirement, or

      • (ii) any special program, plan or arrangement mentioned in section 16 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations for the purposes of subsections (1) and (2).

  • Marginal note:Support measures

    (4) In support of the national employment service, the Commission may establish support measures to support

    • (a) organizations that provide employment assistance services;

    • (b) employers, employee or employer associations, community groups and communities in developing and implementing strategies for dealing with labour force adjustments and meeting human resource requirements; and

    • (c) research and innovative projects to identify better ways of helping persons prepare for, return to or keep employment and be productive participants in the labour force.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (5) Support measures established under paragraph (4)(b) shall not

    • (a) provide assistance for employed persons unless they are facing a loss of their employment or need assistance to maintain their employment; or

    • (b) provide direct federal government assistance for the provision of labour market training without the agreement of the government of the province in which the assistance is provided.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 60
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 307

Marginal note:Financial assistance

  •  (1) For the purpose of implementing employment benefits and support measures, the Commission may, in accordance with terms and conditions approved by the Treasury Board, provide financial assistance in the form of

    • (a) grants or contributions;

    • (b) loans, loan guarantees or suretyships;

    • (c) payments for any service provided at the request of the Commission; and

    • (d) vouchers to be exchanged for services and payments for the provision of the services.

  • Marginal note:Provincial agreement

    (2) The Commission may not provide any financial assistance in a province in support of employment benefits mentioned in paragraph 59(e) without the agreement of the government of the province.

  • Marginal note:Transitional payments for educational institutions

    (3) Payments under paragraph (1)(c) include the following transitional payments, which may not be made under this section more than three years after it comes into force:

    • (a) payments to a public or private educational institution for providing a course or program of instruction or training at the request of the Commission under employment benefits authorized by paragraph 59(e); and

    • (b) payments to a province in respect of the course or program if it is provided by a public educational institution and there is an agreement between the government of the province and the Commission to remunerate the province for all or part of the cost of providing the course or program.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 61
  • 2001, c. 4, s. 75(E)
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