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

Act current to 2022-07-13 and last amended on 2022-06-23. Previous Versions

PART IUnemployment Benefits (continued)

Benefit Period (continued)

Marginal note:Week of unemployment

  •  (1) A week of unemployment for a claimant is a week in which the claimant does not work a full working week.

  • Marginal note:Exception — no duties to perform

    (2) A week during which a claimant’s contract of service continues and in respect of which the claimant receives or will receive their usual remuneration for a full working week is not a week of unemployment, even though the claimant may be excused from performing their normal duties or does not have any duties to perform at that time.

  • Marginal note:Exception — leave with deferred remuneration

    (3) A week or part of a week during a period of leave from employment is not a week of unemployment if the employee

    • (a) takes the period of leave under an agreement with their employer;

    • (b) continues to be an employee of the employer during the period; and

    • (c) receives remuneration that was set aside during a period of work, regardless of when it is paid.

  • Marginal note:Exception — compensatory leave

    (4) An insured person is deemed to have worked a full working week during each week that falls wholly or partly in a period of leave if

    • (a) in each week the insured person regularly works a greater number of hours, days or shifts than are normally worked in a week by persons employed in full-time employment; and

    • (b) the person is entitled to the period of leave under an employment agreement to compensate for the extra time worked.

Payment of Benefits

Marginal note:Benefits

  •  (1) If a benefit period has been established for a claimant, benefits may be paid to the claimant for each week of unemployment that falls in the benefit period, subject to the maximums established by this section.

  • Marginal note:General maximum

    (2) The maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid in a benefit period because of a reason other than those mentioned in subsection (3) shall be determined in accordance with the table in Schedule I by reference to the regional rate of unemployment that applies to the claimant and the number of hours of insurable employment of the claimant in their qualifying period.

  • Marginal note:General maximum — exception

    (2.1) Despite subsection (2), the maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid in a benefit period because of a reason other than those mentioned in subsection (3) to a claimant whose benefit period begins during the period beginning on September 27, 2020 and ending on September 25, 2021 is 50.

  • Marginal note:Non-application

    (2.2) Subsection (2.1) does not apply to a claimant under the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations.

  • Marginal note:General maximum — exception for seasonal workers

    (2.3) Despite subsection (2), the maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid in a benefit period to a claimant because of a reason other than those mentioned in subsection (3) shall be determined in accordance with the table set out in Schedule V by reference to the regional rate of unemployment that applies to the claimant and the number of hours of insurable employment of the claimant in their qualifying period if

    • (a) the following conditions are met:

      • (i) the date on which a benefit period for the claimant is established falls within the period beginning on September 26, 2021 and ending on October 28, 2023,

      • (ii) on the date on which the benefit period is established, the claimant is ordinarily resident in a region described in Schedule VI,

      • (iii) in the 260 weeks before the date on which the benefit period referred to in subparagraph (i) begins, at least three benefit periods were established during which regular benefits were paid or payable, and

      • (iv) at least two of the benefit periods referred to in subparagraph (iii) began around the same time of year as the benefit period referred to in subparagraph (i) began; or

    • (b) the conditions referred to in subparagraphs (a)(i) and (ii) are met and the claimant had met the criteria set out in paragraphs 77.992(2)(b) to (d) of the Employment Insurance Regulations — taking into account subsections 77.992(3) and (4) of those Regulations — in respect of a benefit period established for the claimant on a date within the period referred to in paragraph 77.992(2)(a) of those Regulations.

  • Marginal note:Establishment of benefit period — presumption

    (2.4) For the purposes of subparagraph (2.3)(a)(iii), a claimant’s benefit period established before the beginning of the 260-week period is considered to have been established within the 260-week period if the claimant received a notification of payment or non-payment with respect to any week that falls within that 260-week period.

  • Marginal note:Beginning of benefit period — presumption

    (2.5) For the purposes of subparagraph (2.3)(a)(iv), a benefit period in a previous year is considered to have begun around the same time of year if it began during the period that begins eight weeks before and ends eight weeks after the week that is

    • (a) 52 weeks before the first week of the benefit period referred to in subparagraph (2.3)(a)(i);

    • (b) 104 weeks before the first week of the benefit period referred to in subparagraph (2.3)(a)(i);

    • (c) 156 weeks before the first week of the benefit period referred to in subparagraph (2.3)(a)(i);

    • (d) 208 weeks before the first week of the benefit period referred to in subparagraph (2.3)(a)(i); or

    • (e) 260 weeks before the first week of the benefit period referred to in subparagraph (2.3)(a)(i).

  • (2.6) to (2.8) [Repealed, 2016, c. 7, s. 212]

  • Marginal note:Maximum — special benefits

    (3) The maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid in a benefit period

    • (a) because of pregnancy is 15;

    • (b) because the claimant is caring for one or more new-born children of the claimant or one or more children placed with the claimant for the purpose of adoption is, in accordance with the election under section 23,

      • (i) 35, or

      • (ii) 61;

    • (c) because of a prescribed illness, injury or quarantine is 15;

    • (d) because the claimant is providing care or support to one or more family members described in subsection 23.1(2) is 26;

    • (e) because the claimant is providing care or support to one or more critically ill children described in subsection 23.2(1), is 35; and

    • (f) because the claimant is providing care or support to one or more critically ill adults described in subsection 23.3(1) is 15.

  • Marginal note:Maximum — special benefits

    (4) The maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid

    • (a) for a single pregnancy is 15; and

    • (b) for the care of one or more new-born or adopted children as a result of a single pregnancy or placement is,

      • (i) if the maximum number of weeks that has been elected under subsection 23(1.1) is established under subparagraph (3)(b)(i), 35 or, if the weeks for which benefits may be paid are divided in accordance with section 23, 40, or

      • (ii) if the maximum number of weeks that has been elected under subsection 23(1.1) is established under subparagraph (3)(b)(ii), 61 or, if the weeks for which benefits may be paid are divided in accordance with section 23, 69.

  • Marginal note:Maximum — parental benefits

    (4.01) If a claim is made under this Part in respect of a child or children referred to in paragraph (4)(b) and a claim is made under section 152.05 in respect of the same child or children, the maximum number of weeks of benefits payable under this Act in respect of the child or children is,

    • (a) if the maximum number of weeks that has been elected under subsection 23(1.1) is established under subparagraph (3)(b)(i), 35 or, if the weeks for which benefits may be paid are divided in accordance with section 23, 40; or

    • (b) if the maximum number of weeks that has been elected under subsection 23(1.1) is established under subparagraph (3)(b)(ii), 61 or, if the weeks for which benefits may be paid are divided in accordance with section 23, 69.

  • Marginal note:Maximum — compassionate care benefits

    (4.1) Even if more than one claim is made under this Act, at least one of which is made under section 23.1 — or even if more than one certificate is issued for the purposes of this Act, at least one of which is issued for the purposes of section 23.1 — for the same reason and in respect of the same family member, the maximum number of weeks of benefits payable under this Act in respect of that family member is 26 weeks during the period of 52 weeks that begins on the first day of the week referred to in paragraph 23.1(4)(a).

  • Marginal note:Shorter period

    (4.2) If a shorter period is prescribed for the purposes of subsection 23.1(5), then that shorter period applies for the purposes of subsection (4.1).

  • Marginal note:Expiration of shorter period

    (4.3) When a shorter period referred to in subsection (4.2) has expired in respect of a family member, no further benefits are payable under section 23.1 in respect of that family member until the minimum prescribed number of weeks has elapsed.

  • Marginal note:Maximum — critically ill child

    (4.4) Even if more than one claim is made under this Act, at least one of which is made under section 23.2 — or even if more than one certificate is issued for the purposes of this Act, at least one of which is issued for the purposes of section 23.2 — for the same reason and in respect of the same critically ill child, the maximum number of weeks of benefits payable under this Act in respect of that child is 35 weeks during the period of 52 weeks that begins on the first day of the week referred to in paragraph 23.2(3)(a).

  • Marginal note:Maximum — critically ill adult

    (4.5) Even if more than one claim is made under this Act, at least one of which is made under section 23.3 — or even if more than one certificate is issued for the purposes of this Act, at least one of which is issued for the purposes of section 23.3 — for the same reason and in respect of the same critically ill adult, the maximum number of weeks of benefits payable under this Act in respect of that adult is 15 weeks during the period of 52 weeks that begins on the first day of the week referred to in paragraph 23.3(3)(a).

  • Marginal note:Combined weeks of benefits

    (5) In a claimant’s benefit period, the claimant may combine weeks of benefits to which they are entitled because of a reason mentioned in subsection (3), but the maximum number of combined weeks is 50. If the benefit period is extended under subsection 10(13), the maximum number of combined weeks equals the maximum number of weeks in the benefit period calculated under subsection 10(15) less two weeks.

  • Marginal note:Combined weeks of benefits

    (6) In a claimant’s benefit period, the claimant may, subject to the applicable maximums, combine weeks of benefits to which the claimant is entitled under subsection (2), (2.1) or (2.3) and because of a reason mentioned in subsection (3), but the total number of weeks of benefits shall not exceed 50.

  • Marginal note:Determination — total number of weeks

    (7) For the purpose of determining whether the total number of weeks of benefits established under subsection (6) has been reached, in the case where benefits have been paid for the reason mentioned in paragraph 12(3)(b) and the applicable maximum number of weeks is established under subparagraph 12(3)(b)(ii),

    • (a) the number of weeks of benefits that were paid for the reason mentioned in paragraph 12(3)(b) is converted to the number of weeks of benefits that would have been paid at a rate of weekly benefits of 55%, as set out in the table in Schedule IV; and

    • (b) other than the weeks referred to in subsections 10(10) to (12.1) in respect of which the benefit period is extended and the week referred to in section 13, the weeks for which no benefits were paid are deemed to be weeks for which benefits were paid at a rate of weekly benefits of 55%.

  • Marginal note:Adoption

    (8) For the purposes of this section, the placement with a claimant, at the same or substantially the same time, of two or more children for the purpose of adoption is a single placement of a child or children for the purpose of adoption.

Marginal note:Waiting period

 A claimant is not entitled to be paid benefits in a benefit period until, after the beginning of the benefit period, the claimant has served a waiting period of one week of unemployment for which benefits would otherwise be payable.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 13
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 213

Marginal note:Presumption

  •  (1) For the purpose of determining a claimant’s waiting period, a week of unemployment is deemed to be a week of unemployment for which benefits would otherwise be payable if — were the week not the waiting period — the amount of the benefits that would have been payable in that week after deducting the following would be greater than zero:

    • (a) the amount of the earnings, if any, that is greater than $50, if the claimant’s rate of weekly benefits is less than $200; or

    • (b) the amount of the earnings, if any, that is greater than 25% of the claimant’s rate of weekly benefits, if that rate is $200 or more.

  • Marginal note:References

    (2) For the purpose of subsection (1),

    • (a) in determining the amount of the benefits that would have been payable, the deduction referred to in subsection 19(2) is to be excluded; and

    • (b) a reference to earnings means earnings as determined for the purpose of subsection 19(2).

  • 2018, c. 12, s. 284

Rate of Benefits

Marginal note:Rate of weekly benefits

  •  (1) The rate of weekly benefits payable to a claimant is 55% of their weekly insurable earnings, or 33% of their weekly insurable earnings for the weeks for which the claimant is paid benefits under section 23 in the case where the applicable maximum number of weeks is established under subparagraph 12(3)(b)(ii).

  • Marginal note:Maximum weekly insurable earnings

    (1.1) The maximum weekly insurable earnings is

    • (a) $750 if the claimant’s benefit period begins during the years 1997 to 2000; and

    • (b) if the claimant’s benefit period begins in a subsequent year, the maximum yearly insurable earnings divided by 52.

  • Marginal note:Weekly insurable earnings

    (2) A claimant’s weekly insurable earnings are their insurable earnings in the calculation period divided by the number of weeks determined in accordance with the following table by reference to the applicable regional rate of unemployment.

    TABLE

    Regional Rate of UnemploymentNumber of Weeks
    not more than 6%22
    more than 6% but not more than 7%21
    more than 7% but not more than 8%20
    more than 8% but not more than 9%19
    more than 9% but not more than 10%18
    more than 10% but not more than 11%17
    more than 11% but not more than 12%16
    more than 12% but not more than 13%15
    more than 13%14
  • Marginal note:Insurable earnings

    (3) Insurable earnings in the calculation period are equal to the total of the following amounts established and calculated in accordance with the regulations:

    • (a) the claimant’s insurable earnings during the calculation period including those from insurable employment that has not ended but not including any insurable earnings paid or payable to the claimant by reason of lay-off or separation from employment in the qualifying period; and

    • (b) the insurable earnings paid or payable to the claimant, during the qualifying period, by reason of lay-off or separation from employment.

  • Marginal note:Calculation period

    (4) The calculation period of a claimant is the number of weeks, whether consecutive or not, determined in accordance with the table set out in subsection (2) by reference to the applicable regional rate of unemployment, in the claimant’s qualifying period for which he or she received the highest insurable earnings.

  • (4.1) [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 604]

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 14
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 604
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 232
 
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