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

Act current to 2021-10-07 and last amended on 2021-09-26. Previous Versions

PART IUnemployment Benefits (continued)

Courses, Programs and Employment Benefits (continued)

Marginal note:Benefits are not earnings

 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 employment benefits, or under similar benefits that are the subject of an agreement under section 63, are not earnings from employment.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 26
  • 1997, c. 26, s. 89

Disqualification and Disentitlement

Marginal note:Disqualification — general

  •  (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 employment benefits; 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

Marginal note:Duration of disqualification

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (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.

  • Marginal note:Deferral

    (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.

  • Marginal note:Presumption

    (6) For the purposes of this Part, benefits are deemed to be paid for the weeks of disqualification.

  • (7) [Repealed, 2021, c. 23, s. 314]

Marginal note:Interpretation

 For the purposes of sections 30 to 33,

  • (a) employment refers to the claimant’s last employment before their initial claim for benefits or any employment of the claimant within 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.

Marginal note:Disqualification — misconduct or leaving without just cause

  •  (1) A claimant is disqualified from receiving any benefits if the claimant lost their employment because of their misconduct or voluntarily left their employment without just cause, unless

    • (a) the claimant has, since losing or leaving the employment, been employed in insurable employment and made a new initial claim for 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) The disqualification is suspended during any week for which the claimant is otherwise entitled to special benefits.

  • (5) [Repealed, 2021, c. 23, s. 316]

  • (6) [Repealed, 2021, c. 23, s. 316]

  • (7) [Repealed, 2021, c. 23, s. 316]

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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