The EI crisis

As more people are being laid off from full time jobs, access to Employment Insurance is continuing to be an issue. According to a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, more people are vulnerable to financial problems during the present economic down turn because of the weak unemployment insurance system, low personal savings rate, and high household dept levels. A report put out by HRSD Canada looked at the EI program before the economic crisis and found that one in five EI premium payers who were laid off did not qualify for benefits due to lack of hours. Of those who got into the system in 2007, more than one in four exhausted their benefits before finding a new job. Fewer workers qualify today due to cut hours and increased part time work. A recent article in The Star explores how the lack of insurable hours and the different EI rules across the country have increased the number of workers who do not have access to EI. The CCPA report recommends that the entrance requirements should be uniform across the country and the eligibility threshold reduced to 360 hours.

More Information

EI Monitoring and Assessement Report 2008 - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

"Unemployment insurance claims show recession afflicting all parts of Canada" - April 28, 2009, The Canadian Press (Link removed - No longer exists)