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

Act current to 2024-05-28 and last amended on 2023-06-22. Previous Versions

PART IUnemployment Benefits (continued)

Regulations (continued)

Marginal note:Hours of insurable employment

  •  (1) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations for establishing how many hours of insurable employment a person has, including regulations providing that persons whose earnings are not paid on an hourly basis are deemed to have hours of insurable employment as established in accordance with the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Alternative methods

    (2) If the Commission considers that it is not possible to apply the provisions of the regulations, it may authorize an alternative method of establishing how many hours of insurable employment a person has.

  • Marginal note:Alteration or rescission of authorization

    (3) The Commission may at any time alter the authorized method or rescind the authorization, subject to any conditions that it considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Agreement to provide alternative methods

    (4) The Commission may enter into agreements with employers or employees to provide for alternative methods of establishing how many hours of insurable employment persons have and the Commission may at any time rescind the agreements.

PART IIEmployment Support Measures and National Employment Service

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Part is to help maintain a sustainable employment insurance system through the establishment of employment support measures and the maintenance of a national employment service.

Marginal note:Guidelines

  •  (1) Employment support measures under this Part shall be established in accordance with the following guidelines:

    • (a) harmonization with provincial employment initiatives to ensure that there is no unnecessary overlap or duplication;

    • (b) reduction of dependency on unemployment benefits by helping individuals obtain or keep employment;

    • (c) co-operation and partnership with other governments, employers, community-based organizations and other interested organizations;

    • (d) flexibility to allow significant decisions about implementation to be made at a local level;

    • (d.1) availability of assistance under the measures in either official language where there is significant demand for that assistance in that language;

    • (e) commitment by persons receiving assistance under the measures to

      • (i) achieving the goals of the assistance,

      • (ii) taking primary responsibility for identifying their employment needs and locating services necessary to allow them to meet those needs, and

      • (iii) if appropriate, sharing the cost of the assistance; and

    • (f) implementation of the measures within a framework for evaluating their success in assisting persons to obtain or keep employment.

  • Marginal note:Working in concert and consultations

    (2) To give effect to the purpose and guidelines of this Part, the Commission shall work in concert with provincial governments and consult with workers and employers to align employment support measures with labour market needs.

  • (3) [Repealed, 2022, c. 10, s. 397]

Marginal note:Definition of insured participant

 In this Part, insured participant means

  • (a) an insured person who requests assistance under an employment support measure and, when requesting the assistance, is a person for whom a benefit period is established or whose benefit period has ended within the previous 60 months or a person who paid, in at least 3 of the last 10 years, employee’s premiums that did not entitle them to a refund under subsection 96(4); and

  • (b) an insured person who requests assistance under an employment support measure and, when requesting assistance, is a person who was in receipt of the employment insurance emergency response benefit within the previous 60 months.

Marginal note:Employment support measures

 The Commission may establish employment support measures to help insured participants and other workers, including workers in groups underrepresented in the labour market, to obtain or keep employment, including measures to

  • (a) provide insured participants with courses or programs of instruction or training;

  • (b) provide insured participants with employment opportunities or provide employment support;

  • (c) provide workers with employment assistance services; and

  • (d) support research, innovation or partnerships related to helping workers to prepare for, obtain or keep employment and to be productive participants in the labour market.

Marginal note:National employment service

  •  (1) The Commission shall maintain a national employment service to provide information on employment opportunities across Canada to help workers find suitable employment and help employers find suitable workers.

  • Marginal note:Duties of the Commission

    (2) The Commission shall

    • (a) collect information concerning employment for workers and workers seeking employment and, to the extent the Commission considers necessary, make the information available with a view to assisting workers to obtain employment for which they are suited and assisting employers to obtain workers most suitable to their needs; and

    • (b) ensure that in referring a worker seeking employment there will be no discrimination on a prohibited ground of discrimination within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act or because of political affiliation, but nothing in this paragraph prohibits the national employment service from giving effect to

      • (i) any limitation, specification or preference based on a bona fide occupational requirement, or

      • (ii) any special program, plan or arrangement mentioned in section 16 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations for the purposes of subsections (1) and (2).

  • (4) [Repealed, 2022, c. 10, s. 400]

  • (5) [Repealed, 2022, c. 10, s. 400]

Marginal note:Financial assistance

 The Commission may, in accordance with terms and conditions approved by the Treasury Board, provide financial assistance for the purpose of implementing employment support measures.

Marginal note:Agreements for administering employment support measures

 The Commission may, with the approval of the Minister, enter into an agreement or arrangement for the administration of employment support measures on its behalf by a department, board or agency of the Government of Canada, another government or government agency in Canada or any other public or private organization.

Marginal note:Agreements for paying costs of similar benefits and measures

  •  (1) The Commission may, with the approval of the Minister, enter into an agreement with a government or government agency in Canada or any other public or private organization to provide for the payment of contributions for all or a portion of

    • (a) any costs of measures implemented by the government, government agency or organization that are consistent with the purpose and guidelines of this Part; and

    • (b) any administration costs that the government, government agency or organization incurs in implementing the measures.

  • (2) [Repealed, 2017, c. 20, s. 308]

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 63
  • 2015, c. 36, s. 154
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 217
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 308
  • 2022, c. 10, s. 402

 [Repealed, 2017, c. 20, s. 309]

Marginal note:No appeal

 A decision of the Commission made in relation to employment support measures, other than a decision under section 65.1, is not subject to review under section 112.

Marginal note:Liability for repayments

 A person is liable to repay the following amounts paid under section 61:

  • (a) principal and interest on a loan to the person;

  • (b) an amount paid on a guarantee or suretyship of a loan made to the person; and

  • (c) an amount paid to the person to which the person is not entitled.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 65
  • 2001, c. 4, s. 76(E)

Marginal note:Penalties

  •  (1) The Commission may impose on a person to whom financial assistance has been provided under section 61 a penalty for each of the following acts or omissions if the Commission becomes aware of facts that in its opinion establish that the person has

    • (a) in relation to an application or request for the assistance,

      • (i) made a representation that the person knew was false or misleading, or

      • (ii) made a declaration that the person knew was false or misleading because of the non-disclosure of facts; or

    • (b) without good cause failed to attend, carry out or complete the course, program or activity for which the assistance was provided or was expelled from it.

  • Marginal note:Maximum penalty

    (2) The Commission may set the amount of the penalty for each act or omission at not more than the amount of the financial assistance that was provided.

  • Marginal note:Limitation on imposition of penalties

    (3) The penalty shall not be imposed if

    • (a) a prosecution for the act or omission has been initiated against the person; or

    • (b) 36 months have passed since the day on which the act or omission occurred.

  • Marginal note:Rescission, etc., of penalty

    (4) The Commission may rescind the imposition of the penalty, or reduce the penalty, on the presentation of new facts or on being satisfied that the penalty was imposed without knowledge of, or on the basis of a mistake as to, some material fact.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 65.1
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 78(F)

Marginal note:Debts due to the Crown

  •  (1) Amounts repayable under section 65 and penalties under section 65.1 are debts due to Her Majesty and are recoverable in the Federal Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction or in any other manner provided by this Act.

  • Marginal note:Recovery by deduction

    (2) If an amount becomes payable to the person under section 61, the amount of their indebtedness to Her Majesty may be recovered out of the amount payable.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (3) No amount due under this section may be recovered more than 72 months after the day on which the liability arose.

PART IIIPremiums and Other Financial Matters


Definition of actuary

 In this Part, actuary means the Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries whose services are engaged by the Commission under subsection 28(4) of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act.

  • 2008, c. 28, s. 125
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 434
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 236


 [Repealed, 2008, c. 28, s. 126]

Marginal note:Annual premium rate setting

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (7) and section 66.32, the Commission shall set the premium rate for each year in order to generate just enough premium revenue to ensure that, at the end of the seven-year period that commences at the beginning of that year, the total of the amounts credited to the Employment Insurance Operating Account after December 31, 2008 is equal to the total of the amounts charged to that Account after that date.

  • (1.1) and (1.2) [Repealed, 2013, c. 40, s. 126]

  • Marginal note:Factors

    (2) The Commission shall set the premium rate based on

    • (a) the information provided under sections 66.1 and 66.2;

    • (b) the actuary’s report provided under section 66.3 for that year;

    • (c) [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 609]

    • (d) any regulations made under section 69;

    • (e) any changes, announced by the Minister on or before July 22 in a year, to payments to be made under paragraph 77(1)(a), (b) or (c) during the following year; and

    • (f) any other information that the Commission considers relevant.

  • (3) [No subsection (3)]

  • (4) to (6) [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 609]

  • Marginal note:Difference year to year

    (7) The premium rate may not be increased or decreased by more than five one-hundredths of one per cent (0.05%) from one year to the next.

  • (7.1) [Repealed, 2013, c. 40, s. 126]

  • Marginal note:Governor in Council — maximum change in premium rate

    (8) On the joint recommendation of the Minister and the Minister of Finance, the Governor in Council may change the maximum percentage referred to in subsection (7) by which the premium rate may be increased or decreased from one year to the next, if the Governor in Council considers it to be in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Time limit

    (9) On or before September 14 in a year, the Commission shall set the premium rate for the following year.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 66
  • 2005, c. 30, s. 126
  • 2008, c. 28, s. 127
  • 2009, c. 2, ss. 222, 230
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 2204
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 609, c. 31, s. 435
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 126

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