Employment Insurance Act (S.C. 1996, c. 23)
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Act current to 2023-03-20 and last amended on 2022-12-18. Previous Versions
PART IUnemployment Benefits (continued)
Marginal note:Regulations for work-sharing benefits
24 (1) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations providing for the payment of work-sharing benefits to claimants who are qualified to receive benefits under this Act and are employed under a work-sharing agreement that has been approved for the purposes of this section by special or general direction of the Commission, including regulations
(a) defining and determining the nature of work-sharing employment for which benefits may be paid;
(b) prescribing the maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid;
(c) prescribing the method of paying benefits;
(d) prescribing the rate of weekly benefits;
(e) providing a method for setting the amount that is the weekly insurable earnings of a claimant employed in work-sharing employment for the purposes of section 14;
(f) prescribing the manner of treating, for benefit purposes, earnings received from the claimant’s employer or from other sources;
(g) providing for the extension of a claimant’s qualifying period or benefit period for a number of weeks not exceeding the number of weeks of work-sharing employment;
(h) deferring service by a claimant of all or any part of their waiting period until their work-sharing employment has ended; and
(i) providing for any other matters necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this section.
Marginal note:No appeal
(2) A special or general direction of the Commission approving or disapproving a work sharing agreement for the purposes of subsection (1) is not subject to review under section 112.
(3) For the purposes of this Part, a claimant is unemployed and capable of and available for work during a week when the claimant works in work-sharing employment.
- 1996, c. 23, s. 24
- 2012, c. 19, s. 241
Courses, Programs and Employment Support Measures
Marginal note:Status of claimants
25 (1) For the purposes of this Part, a claimant is unemployed and capable of and available for work during a period when the claimant is
(a) attending a course or program of instruction or training — at the claimant’s own expense, under an employment support measure referred to in paragraph 59(a) or under a measure that is the subject of an agreement under section 63 — to which the Commission, or an authority that the Commission designates, has referred the claimant; or
(b) participating in any other employment activity
(i) for which assistance has been provided for the claimant under a prescribed employment support measure — other than one referred to in paragraph 59(a) or (c) — or a prescribed measure that is the subject of an agreement under section 63, and
(ii) to which the Commission, or an authority that the Commission designates, has referred the claimant.
Marginal note:No appeal
(2) A decision of the Commission about the referral of a claimant to a course, program or other employment activity mentioned in subsection (1) is not subject to review under section 112.
- 1996, c. 23, s. 25
- 1997, c. 26, s. 88
- 1999, c. 31, s. 76(F)
- 2012, c. 19, s. 242
- 2022, c. 10, s. 392
Marginal note:Benefits are not earnings
26 For the purposes of this Part, Part IV, the Income Tax Act and the Canada Pension Plan, benefits paid to a claimant while employed under an employment support measure — other than one referred to in paragraph 59(c) or (d) — or under a measure that is the subject of an agreement under section 63 are not earnings from employment.
- 1996, c. 23, s. 26
- 1997, c. 26, s. 89
- 2022, c. 10, s. 393
Disqualification and Disentitlement
Marginal note:Disqualification — general
27 (1) A claimant is disqualified from receiving benefits under this Part if, without good cause since the interruption of earnings giving rise to the claim, the claimant
(a) has not applied for a suitable employment that is vacant after becoming aware that it is vacant or becoming vacant, or has failed to accept the employment after it has been offered to the claimant;
(b) has not taken advantage of an opportunity for suitable employment;
(c) has not carried out a written direction given to the claimant by the Commission with a view to assisting the claimant to find suitable employment, if the direction was reasonable having regard both to the claimant’s circumstances and to the usual means of obtaining that employment; or
(d) has not attended an interview that the Commission has directed the claimant to attend to enable the Commission or another appropriate agency
(i) to provide information and instruction to help the claimant find employment, or
(ii) to identify whether the claimant might be assisted by job training or other employment assistance.
Marginal note:Termination of referral
(1.1) A claimant is disqualified from receiving benefits under this Part if
(a) the Commission or an authority that the Commission designates has, with the agreement of the claimant, referred the claimant to a course or program of instruction or training or to any other employment activity for which assistance has been provided under an employment support measure other than one referred to in paragraph 59(c); and
(b) the Commission has terminated the referral because
(i) without good cause, the claimant has not attended or participated in the course, program or employment activity and, in the opinion of the Commission, it is unlikely that the claimant will successfully complete the course, program or employment activity,
(ii) without good cause, the claimant has withdrawn from the course, program or employment activity, or
(iii) the organization providing the course, program or employment activity has expelled the claimant.
(2) [Repealed, 2016, c. 12, s. 102]
(3) [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 605]
- 1996, c. 23, s. 27
- 2001, c. 34, s. 41(E)
- 2012, c. 19, s. 605
- 2016, c. 12, s. 102
- 2022, c. 10, s. 394
Marginal note:Duration of disqualification
28 (1) A disqualification under section 27 is for the number of weeks that the Commission may determine, but
(a) the number of weeks of a disqualification arising under paragraph 27(1)(a) or (b) shall be not fewer than 7 or more than 12; and
(b) the number of weeks of a disqualification arising under paragraph 27(1)(c) or (d) or subsection 27(1.1) shall be not more than 6.
Marginal note:When disqualification is to be served
(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), the weeks of disqualification are to be served during the weeks following the waiting period for which benefits would otherwise be payable if the disqualification had not been imposed 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:Disqualification to be carried forward
(3) Any portion of the disqualification that has not been served when the claimant’s benefit period ends shall, subject to subsections (4) and (5), be served in any benefit period subsequently established within two years after the event giving rise to the disqualification.
(4) No weeks of disqualification shall be carried forward against a claimant who has had 700 or more hours of insurable employment since the event giving rise to the disqualification.
(5) The Commission shall defer the serving of the disqualification if the claimant is otherwise entitled to special benefits or benefits by virtue of section 25.
(6) For the purposes of this Part, benefits are deemed to be paid for the weeks of disqualification.
(7) Subsection (6) does not apply to prevent a claimant from requesting that a benefit period established for the claimant as a minor attachment claimant be cancelled under subsection 10(6) and that a benefit period be established for the claimant as a major attachment claimant to enable the claimant to receive special benefits.
- 1996, c. 23, s. 28
- 2001, c. 5, s. 7
- 2021, c. 23, s. 314
29 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
- 2021, c. 23, s. 315
Marginal note:Disqualification — misconduct or leaving without just cause
30 (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.
(4) Despite 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.
(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.
- 1996, c. 23, s. 30
- 2021, c. 23, s. 316
Marginal note:Disentitlement — suspension for misconduct
31 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
32 (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.
- Date modified: