Employment Insurance is a key piece of Canada's social safety net, and an important economic stabilizer. In past recessions it has prevented deeper, longer recession and reduced the shock of job losses on working families and their communities.
As this economic downturn continues, we have an EI system that is weaker than in previous recessions. Only 42% of unemployed workers receive EI at any given time – Because fewer workers qualify and benefit weeks are reduced.
Now is the time to expand EI to protect workers, their families and vulnerable communities.
ACORN, along with the Good Jobs Coalition is calling on the Federal Government to introduce the following emergency measures:
1. 360 hours to qualify for EI benefits in all regions of Canada
2. Increase benefit duration to at least 50 weeks in all regions, and
- Provide an additional year of “Special Extension” benefits if national unemployment exceeds 6.5% - paid from federal general revenues.
- Extend EI Part 1 benefits while a worker is in approved training.
3. Increase benefits to at least 60% of normal earnings, using workers’ 12 best weeks, and raise the maximum. Suspend the allocation of severance pay. Eliminate the 2 week waiting period.