Please note that ERI Distance Learning Center does not provide, other than what is found on this page, advice or counseling on the Canadian employment insurance program. For more information please visit the Service Canada website.
In Canada, unlike the U.S. where unemployment
insurance is a program of the states, unemployment insurance is a program of the
federal government and not the provinces. The program is self-funding from
contributions by both employees and employers.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Weeks of unemployment benefits has two components:
1. Work component:
- first 40 weeks - up to 20 weeks of benefits based on one week of benefits for every two weeks of work
- weeks beyond 40 - up to 12 weeks based upon one week benefits for each week of work.
2. Regional Unemployment Rate - up to 26 weeks of benefits based on two weeks for every percentage point by which the regional unemployment rate exceeds 4%.
Applicant must have:
- been an employee in an organization contributing to the
- been dismissed for "just cause" and not fired for
- earned a minimum amount (20% of weekly maximum insurable
- 20 or more weeks of insurable earnings, except that in areas of high unemployment this may be reduced as far as 12 weeks.
The employer unemployment insurance premiums may be reduced below the 1.4 times the employee rate under certain circumstances.
To be eligible for premium reduction, an
organization must have:
- formal commitment to providing disability income to
- employees become eligible for disability after three months of
- benefits that start on the 15th day after
- when cession of benefits occur on termination, this restriction may only be for employees whose disability occurred within two months of
- a benefit level at least 60% of earnings
- benefits that cannot be reduced by unemployment
- employees who return to work have full coverage
- at east 5/12 of the saved premium must be shared with employees.
- Maternity Benefits: A pregnant employee is entitled to 15 weeks of benefits provided she has been employed for 600 hours in the previous 52 weeks or since the start of her last claim. More information
- Parental Benefits: A new parent, by birth or adoption, may receive 35 weeks of benefits. More information
- Sick Benefits: An employee may be entitled to up to 15 weeks of benefits for sickness, accident or quarantine.
Last updated: 03-08