Feds Announce Employment Insurance Changes
The federal government is tightening Employment Insurance eligibility with new rules on what kind of work jobless Canadians will need to accept in order to receive benefits.
The government says it will put strict definitions on what constitutes "suitable employment" and what the unemployed must do to find a job in order to get off EI.
The changes means Canadians will be treated differently depending on how often they have collected EI benefits in the past, or how long they are currently receiving benefits.
For so-called long-tendered workers who have been mostly employed the past 10 years, they need to accept a job within their usual occupation as long as it pays at least 90 per cent of their previous hourly wage.
The worker must become less choosy and willing to take a lower-paying job, within 80 per cent of their previous pay, after 18 weeks being on the system, however.
For frequent EI claimants, the rules will be far stricter, the government says.
Canadians who have been on the system at least three times for a total of 60 weeks over the past five years will be expected to take a similar job that pays at least 80 per cent of the previous rate.
But that's only for six weeks, after that they would be required to take any job they are qualified for at 70 per cent of the previous pay.
In most circumstances, Canadians will need to accept an available job that is within an hour's commute of their home.
Government officials say it is difficult to assess how much the new rules will save the government, but expect that fewer than one per cent of the about 500,000 claimants will be cut off.
(The Canadian Press)