“At a time of great uncertainty, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has provided millions of Canadians with the financial support they needed to get by. As we safely reopen parts of our economy, we are transitioning to more nimble and flexible programs that will help get Canadians back to work, while ensuring we are able to quickly respond to any further labour market disruptions due to the ongoing pandemic. Our Government will continue to put Canadians first, so we can move forward and build a Canada that works for everyone.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“Helping Canadian families is a cornerstone of the work that Service Canada is doing on a daily basis. As we have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue providing additional support to workers, caregivers and their families in the upcoming months, through the simplified EI program. Canadians can count on Service Canada to help them in these difficult times.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
Since March 2020, the Government has received CERB applications from over 8.7 million unique applicants.
Effective August 9, 2020, the Government established a minimum unemployment rate for the EI program of 13.1 % across Canada.
As announced on August 20, 2020, the Government will also freeze the EI insurance premium rates for two years, so Canadian workers and businesses will not face immediate increases to costs and payroll deductions due to the additional expenses resulting from the pandemic.
The Government is also implementing temporary measures to support self-employed fish harvesters who rely on EI fishing benefits in the off-season. These measures will allow EI fishing benefits for these individuals to be calculated using either their earnings for their current claim, or their earnings from their fishing claim for the same season from either of the previous two years, whichever is highest.
The Government continues to work with provinces and territories to ensure Canadians receiving EI benefits have access to skills training and employment supports, to help them get back to work. If an individual is attending training they were referred to by a province or territory, they are considered to be available for work for that period.
On September 24, 2020, the Government announced the introduction of Bill C-2, to create three new temporary Recovery Benefits including the Canada Recovery Benefit, which would help Canadians who are looking for work, but do not qualify for EI by providing eligible Canadians with $500 per week for up to 26 weeks.