Employment Insurance Act (S.C. 1996, c. 23)

Act current to 2016-11-21 and last amended on 2016-07-03. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Interpretation

 For the purposes of sections 30 to 33,

  • (a) employment refers to any employment of the claimant within their qualifying period or their benefit period;

  • (b) loss of employment includes a suspension from employment, but does not include loss of, or suspension from, employment on account of membership in, or lawful activity connected with, an association, organization or union of workers;

  • (b.1) voluntarily leaving an employment includes

    • (i) the refusal of employment offered as an alternative to an anticipated loss of employment, in which case the voluntary leaving occurs when the loss of employment occurs,

    • (ii) the refusal to resume an employment, in which case the voluntary leaving occurs when the employment is supposed to be resumed, and

    • (iii) the refusal to continue in an employment after the work, undertaking or business of the employer is transferred to another employer, in which case the voluntary leaving occurs when the work, undertaking or business is transferred; and

  • (c) just cause for voluntarily leaving an employment or taking leave from an employment exists if the claimant had no reasonable alternative to leaving or taking leave, having regard to all the circumstances, including any of the following:

    • (i) sexual or other harassment,

    • (ii) obligation to accompany a spouse, common-law partner or dependent child to another residence,

    • (iii) discrimination on a prohibited ground of discrimination within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act,

    • (iv) working conditions that constitute a danger to health or safety,

    • (v) obligation to care for a child or a member of the immediate family,

    • (vi) reasonable assurance of another employment in the immediate future,

    • (vii) significant modification of terms and conditions respecting wages or salary,

    • (viii) excessive overtime work or refusal to pay for overtime work,

    • (ix) significant changes in work duties,

    • (x) antagonism with a supervisor if the claimant is not primarily responsible for the antagonism,

    • (xi) practices of an employer that are contrary to law,

    • (xii) discrimination with regard to employment because of membership in an association, organization or union of workers,

    • (xiii) undue pressure by an employer on the claimant to leave their employment, and

    • (xiv) any other reasonable circumstances that are prescribed.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 29;
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 108.
Marginal note:Disqualification — misconduct or leaving without just cause
  •  (1) A claimant is disqualified from receiving any benefits if the claimant lost any employment because of their misconduct or voluntarily left any employment without just cause, unless

    • (a) the claimant has, since losing or leaving the employment, been employed in insurable employment for the number of hours required by section 7 or 7.1 to qualify to receive benefits; or

    • (b) the claimant is disentitled under sections 31 to 33 in relation to the employment.

  • Marginal note:Length of disqualification

    (2) The disqualification is for each week of the claimant’s benefit period following the waiting period and, for greater certainty, the length of the disqualification is not affected by any subsequent loss of employment by the claimant during the benefit period.

  • Marginal note:Not retroactive

    (3) If the event giving rise to the disqualification occurs during a benefit period of the claimant, the disqualification does not include any week in that benefit period before the week in which the event occurs.

  • Marginal note:Suspension

    (4) Notwithstanding subsection (6), the disqualification is suspended during any week for which the claimant is otherwise entitled to special benefits.

  • Marginal note:Restriction on qualifying for benefits

    (5) If a claimant who has lost or left an employment as described in subsection (1) makes an initial claim for benefits, the following hours may not be used to qualify under section 7 or 7.1 to receive benefits:

    • (a) hours of insurable employment from that or any other employment before the employment was lost or left; and

    • (b) hours of insurable employment in any employment that the claimant subsequently loses or leaves, as described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Restriction on number of weeks and rate of benefits

    (6) No hours of insurable employment in any employment that a claimant loses or leaves, as described in subsection (1), may be used for the purpose of determining the maximum number of weeks of benefits under subsection 12(2) or the claimant’s rate of weekly benefits under section 14.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (7) For greater certainty, but subject to paragraph (1)(a), a claimant may be disqualified under subsection (1) even if the claimant’s last employment before their claim for benefits was not lost or left as described in that subsection and regardless of whether their claim is an initial claim for benefits.

Marginal note:Disentitlement — suspension for misconduct

 A claimant who is suspended from their employment because of their misconduct is not entitled to receive benefits until

  • (a) the period of suspension expires;

  • (b) the claimant loses or voluntarily leaves the employment; or

  • (c) the claimant, after the beginning of the period of suspension, accumulates with another employer the number of hours of insurable employment required by section 7 or 7.1 to qualify to receive benefits.

Marginal note:Disentitlement — period of leave without just cause
  •  (1) A claimant who voluntarily takes a period of leave from their employment without just cause is not entitled to receive benefits if, before or after the beginning of the period of leave,

    • (a) the period of leave was authorized by the employer; and

    • (b) the claimant and the employer agreed as to the day on which the claimant would resume employment.

  • Marginal note:Duration of disentitlement

    (2) The disentitlement lasts until the claimant

    • (a) resumes the employment;

    • (b) loses or voluntarily leaves the employment; or

    • (c) after the beginning of the period of leave, accumulates with another employer the number of hours of insurable employment required by section 7 or 7.1 to qualify to receive benefits.

Marginal note:Disentitlement — anticipated loss of employment
  •  (1) A claimant is not entitled to receive benefits if the claimant loses an employment because of their misconduct or voluntarily leaves without just cause within three weeks before

    • (a) the expiration of a term of employment, in the case of employment for a set term; or

    • (b) the day on which the claimant is to be laid off according to a notice already given by the employer to the claimant.

  • Marginal note:Duration of disentitlement

    (2) The disentitlement lasts until the expiration of the term of employment or the day on which the claimant was to be laid off.

Marginal note:Suspension of disentitlement

 A disentitlement under sections 31 to 33 is suspended during any week for which the claimant is otherwise entitled to special benefits.

Marginal note:Exception

 Notwithstanding anything in this Part, no claimant is disqualified or disentitled under sections 30 to 33 from receiving benefits only because the claimant left or refused to accept employment if, by remaining in or accepting the employment, the claimant would lose the right

  • (a) to become or refrain from becoming a member of an association, organization or union of workers; or

  • (b) to continue to be a member and to observe the lawful rules of an association, organization or union of workers.

 
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