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

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

Employment Insurance Act

S.C. 1996, c. 23

Assented to 1996-06-20

An Act respecting employment insurance in Canada

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Employment Insurance Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this Act,

    affidavit

    affidavit means an affidavit sworn or affirmed before a commissioner of oaths or any other person authorized to take affidavits; (affidavit)

    benefit period

    benefit period means the period described in sections 9, 10, 152.1 and 152.11; (période de prestations)

    benefits

    benefits means unemployment benefits payable under Part I, VII.1 or VIII; (prestation)

    board of referees

    board of referees[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 240]

    claimant

    claimant means a person who applies or has applied for benefits under this Act; (prestataire)

    Commission

    Commission means the Canada Employment Insurance Commission; (Commission)

    common-law partner

    common-law partner, in relation to an individual, means a person who is cohabiting with the individual in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year; (conjoint de fait)

    confirmed delivery service

    confirmed delivery service means certified or registered mail or any other delivery service that provides proof of delivery; (service de messagerie)

    documents

    documents includes money, securities, books, records, letters, telegrams, vouchers, invoices, accounts and statements (financial or otherwise); (documents)

    dwelling-house

    dwelling-house means the whole or any part of a building or structure that is kept or occupied as a permanent or temporary residence and includes

    • (a) a building within the yard of a dwelling-house that is connected to it by a doorway or by a covered and enclosed passageway, and

    • (b) a unit that is designed to be mobile and to be used as a permanent or temporary residence and that is being used as a residence; (maison d’habitation)

    employee’s premium

    employee’s premium means the premium that a person employed in insurable employment is required to pay under section 67; (cotisation ouvrière)

    employer

    employer includes a person who has been an employer and, in respect of remuneration of an individual referred to as sponsor or co-ordinator of a project in paragraph 5(1)(e), it includes that individual; (employeur)

    employer’s premium

    employer’s premium means the premium that an employer of an insured person is required to pay under section 68; (cotisation patronale)

    employment

    employment means the act of employing or the state of being employed; (emploi)

    employment benefits

    employment benefits[Repealed, 2022, c. 10, s. 387]

    employment support measure

    employment support measure means a measure established under section 59; (mesure de soutien à l’emploi)

    insurable earnings

    insurable earnings means the total amount of the earnings, as determined in accordance with Part IV, that an insured person has from insurable employment; (rémunération assurable)

    insurable employment

    insurable employment has the meaning assigned by section 5; (emploi assurable)

    insured person

    insured person means a person who is or has been employed in insurable employment; (assuré)

    interruption of earnings

    interruption of earnings means an interruption that occurs in the earnings of an insured person or a person to whom Part VII.1 applies at any time and in any circumstances determined by the regulations; (arrêt de rémunération)

    labour dispute

    labour dispute means a dispute between employers and employees, or between employees and employees, that is connected with the employment or non-employment, or the terms or conditions of employment, of any persons; (conflit collectif)

    long-tenured worker

    long-tenured worker[Repealed, 2016, c. 7, s. 207]

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister of Employment and Social Development, except in Parts IV and VII; (ministre)

    overpayment of benefits

    overpayment of benefits does not include a benefit repayment as described in Part VII; (versement excédentaire de prestations)

    prescribed

    prescribed means prescribed by the regulations or determined in accordance with rules prescribed by the regulations; (Version anglaise seulement)

    provincial law

    provincial law means the provisions of any Act of the legislature of a province authorizing, or entitling a person to, the payment of benefits under a plan established by or under that Act; (loi provinciale)

    rate of unemployment

    rate of unemployment means the rate of unemployment as determined from time to time in a year; (taux de chômage)

    regular benefits

    regular benefits means benefits payable under Part I and Part VIII, but does not include special benefits or benefits by virtue of section 24 or 25; (prestations régulières)

    special benefits

    special benefits means benefits paid for any reason mentioned in subsection 12(3) or 152.14(1); (prestations spéciales)

    umpire

    umpire[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 240]

    week

    week means a period of seven consecutive days beginning on and including Sunday, or any other prescribed period; (semaine)

    year

    year means a calendar year. (année)

  • Marginal note:Rates of unemployment produced by Statistics Canada

    (2) If the use of rates of unemployment produced by Statistics Canada is required under this Act or the regulations, the Commission shall use those most recently produced at the time it is appropriate or necessary for the Commission to make a final determination in respect of those rates or involving their use.

  • Marginal note:Electronic documents and communication

    (3) A document or other communication under this Act or the regulations may be in electronic form and a reference in this Act or the regulations to a form, record, book, notice, request, demand, decision or any other document includes a document in electronic form.

  • Marginal note:References to claims for benefits

    (4) In this Act and the regulations, references to claims for benefits include questions arising in relation to those claims, and references to action on a claim include determining questions in favour of or adversely to claimants.

  • Marginal note:Weeks of benefits paid

    (5) For the purposes of section 145, the Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations for establishing how many weeks of benefits a claimant was paid, in order to take into account benefit reductions or deductions in the calculation or payment of those benefits.

  • 1996, c. 23, ss. 2, 189
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 106
  • 2001, c. 5, s. 1
  • 2003, c. 15, s. 15
  • 2005, c. 34, s. 80
  • 2009, c. 33, s. 2
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 240
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 238
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 207
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 229
  • 2022, c. 10, s. 387

Report

Marginal note:Commission to assess adjustment

  •  (1) The Commission shall monitor and assess the impact and effectiveness, for individuals, communities and the economy, of the benefits and other assistance provided under this Act, including

    • (a) how the benefits and assistance are utilized by employees and employers, and

    • (b) the effect of the benefits and assistance on the obligation of claimants to be available for and to seek employment and on the efforts of employers to maintain a stable workforce.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) The Commission shall report to the Minister on its assessment annually no later than March 31 following the end of a year. The Commission shall make any additional reports at any other times, as the Minister may request.

  • Marginal note:Tabling in Parliament

    (3) The Minister shall lay each report before Parliament within 30 days after receiving it or, if Parliament is not then sitting, on any of the first 30 days that either House of Parliament is sitting after it is received.

  • Marginal note:Referral to committee

    (4) Each report shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by the House for that purpose.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 3
  • 2001, c. 5, s. 2
  • 2008, c. 28, s. 124

Maximum Yearly Insurable Earnings

Marginal note:Maximum yearly insurable earnings

  •  (1) For the purposes of subsection 14(1.1), section 17, subsection 82(2) and sections 95 and 145, the maximum yearly insurable earnings is $39,000 until the amount calculated in accordance with subsection (2) for a year, before rounding down under subsection (4), exceeds $39,000, in which case the maximum yearly insurable earnings for that year is that amount, rounded down under subsection (4).

  • Marginal note:Calculation of amount

    (2) The amount referred to in subsection (1) is the amount equal to 52 times the product obtained by multiplying

    • (a) the average for the 12-month period ending on April 30 in the preceding year of the Average Weekly Earnings for each month in that period

    by

    • (b) the ratio that the average for the 12-month period ending on April 30 in that preceding year of the Average Weekly Earnings for each month in that 12-month period bears to the average for the 12-month period ending 12 months prior to April 30 of that preceding year of the Average Weekly Earnings for each month in that 12-month period ending 12 months prior to April 30 of that preceding year.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent years

    (3) For years subsequent to the year in which the maximum yearly insurable earnings exceeds $39,000, before rounding down under subsection (4), the maximum yearly insurable earnings is the maximum yearly insurable earnings for the preceding year, before rounding down under that subsection, multiplied by the ratio that the average for the 12-month period ending on April 30 in that preceding year of the Average Weekly Earnings for each month in that 12-month period bears to the average for the 12-month period ending 12 months prior to April 30 of that preceding year of the Average Weekly Earnings for each month in that 12-month period ending 12 months prior to April 30 of that preceding year.

  • Marginal note:Rounding down

    (4) If the amount calculated in accordance with subsection (2) or (3) is not a multiple of one hundred dollars, the amount of the maximum yearly insurable earnings is rounded down to the nearest multiple of one hundred dollars.

  • Marginal note:Average Weekly Earnings

    (5) The Average Weekly Earnings for a month is the average weekly earnings of the Industrial Aggregate in Canada for the month as published by Statistics Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act.

  • 1996, c. 23, s. 4
  • 2001, c. 5, s. 3
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 603, c. 31, s. 433
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 125

Insurable Employment

Marginal note:Types of insurable employment

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), insurable employment is

    • (a) employment in Canada by one or more employers, under any express or implied contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, whether the earnings of the employed person are received from the employer or some other person and whether the earnings are calculated by time or by the piece, or partly by time and partly by the piece, or otherwise;

    • (b) employment in Canada as described in paragraph (a) by Her Majesty in right of Canada;

    • (c) service in the Canadian Forces or in a police force;

    • (d) employment included by regulations made under subsection (4) or (5); and

    • (e) employment in Canada of an individual as the sponsor or co-ordinator of an employment support measure other than one referred to in paragraph 59(c) or (d).

  • Marginal note:Excluded employment

    (2) Insurable employment does not include

    • (a) employment of a casual nature other than for the purpose of the employer’s trade or business;

    • (b) the employment of a person by a corporation if the person controls more than 40% of the voting shares of the corporation;

    • (c) employment in Canada by Her Majesty in right of a province;

    • (d) employment in Canada by the government of a country other than Canada or of any political subdivision of the other country;

    • (e) employment in Canada by an international organization;

    • (f) employment in Canada under an exchange program if the employment is not remunerated by an employer that is resident in Canada;

    • (g) employment that constitutes an exchange of work or services;

    • (h) employment excluded by regulations made under subsection (6); and

    • (i) employment if the employer and employee are not dealing with each other at arm’s length.

  • Marginal note:Arm’s length dealing

    (3) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(i),

    • (a) the question of whether persons are not dealing with each other at arm’s length shall be determined in accordance with the Income Tax Act; and

    • (b) if the employer is, within the meaning of that Act, related to the employee, they are deemed to deal with each other at arm’s length if the Minister of National Revenue is satisfied that, having regard to all the circumstances of the employment, including the remuneration paid, the terms and conditions, the duration and the nature and importance of the work performed, it is reasonable to conclude that they would have entered into a substantially similar contract of employment if they had been dealing with each other at arm’s length.

  • Marginal note:Regulations to include employment

    (4) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations for including in insurable employment

    • (a) employment outside Canada or partly outside Canada that would be insurable employment if it were in Canada;

    • (b) the entire employment of a person who is engaged by one employer partly in insurable employment and partly in other employment;

    • (c) employment that is not employment under a contract of service if it appears to the Commission that the terms and conditions of service of, and the nature of the work performed by, persons employed in that employment are similar to the terms and conditions of service of, and the nature of the work performed by, persons employed under a contract of service;

    • (d) employment in Canada by Her Majesty in right of a province if the government of the province waives exclusion and agrees to insure all its employees engaged in that employment;

    • (e) employment in Canada by the government of a country other than Canada or of any political subdivision of the other country if the employing government consents;

    • (f) employment in Canada by an international organization if the organization consents; and

    • (g) the tenure of an office as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Canada Pension Plan.

  • Marginal note:Regulations to include persons in business

    (5) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council and subject to affirmative resolution of Parliament, make regulations for including in insurable employment the business activities of a person who is engaged in a business, as defined in subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act.

  • Marginal note:Regulations to exclude employment

    (6) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations for excluding from insurable employment

    • (a) any employment if it appears to the Commission that because of the laws of a country other than Canada a duplication of contributions or benefits will result;

    • (b) the entire employment of a person who is engaged by one employer partly in insurable employment and partly in other employment;

    • (c) any employment if it appears to the Commission that the nature of the work performed by persons employed in that employment is similar to the nature of the work performed by persons employed in employment that is not insurable employment;

    • (d) the employment of a member of a religious order who has taken a vow of poverty and whose remuneration is paid directly or by the member to the order;

    • (e) any employment in which persons are employed hardly at all or for nominal remuneration; and

    • (f) any employment provided under regulations made under section 24 or under an employment support measure other than one referred to in paragraph 59(c) or (d).

  • Marginal note:Defining certain expressions

    (7) The Commission may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations defining, for the purposes of this section, the expressions casual nature, government, in relation to a government of a country other than Canada or of a political subdivision of the other country, and international organization.

 
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