Legislation designed to provide extended employment insurance benefits to long-tenured employees has passed second reading in the federal House of Commons, and has been referred to Committee prior to third reading. Bill C-50, An Act to Amend the Employment Insurance Act and to increase benefits, is part of the Canadian government’s Economic Action Plan. Its effect is to temporarily extend the duration of regular employment insurance benefits for workers who have worked and paid EI premiums for a significant period of time but who have not previously received a significant amount of EI regular benefits.
The Bill defines a “long-tenured worker” as a person who has paid at least 30% of the annual maximum EI premiums for at least 7 out of 10 calendar years, and who has received less than 36 weeks of regular EI benefits in the past 5 years. Regular benefits for such workers will be extended from 5 to 20 weeks, depending on the number of years the employee has worked and paid EI premiums. The start date of such extended benefits will depend on when Bill C-50 comes into force, and payments of extended benefits are anticipated to continue until September 2010.
Click here to access thefull text of Bill C-50 and the current status of the Bill.