Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new income support benefits on August 20, 2020. They also announced that in preparation for this transition and to ensure support continues for Canadians whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended by an additional four weeks to a maximum of 28 weeks. This means that for the many Canadians expecting to exhaust their CERB benefits at the end of August, they will now be able to access an additional month of support.
EI will now be available to more Canadians, including those who would not have qualified for EI in the past, adding more than 400,000 people into the program.Those receiving EI will be eligible for a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits, and regular benefits will be accessible for a minimum duration of 26 weeks. The government will continue 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.
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.
View the Government of Canada Official News Release