Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada


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

Act current to 2022-09-22 and last amended on 2022-06-23. Previous Versions

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.

Date modified: