The Canadian federal government's Human Resources Minister announced new Employment Insurance (EI) measures Thursday at a press conference in Ottawa. The overhaul will establish three criteria for job hunters.
After weeks of warning about changes to EI, the Conservative government finally announced measures that would reform EI, which would place recipients into different tiers. The revisions come as Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters that there is no such thing as a bad job.
Speaking in Ottawa Thursday, Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley offered details as to the specifics of the new rules to EI. The federal government will install stricter definitions on suitable employment and reasonable job search in order for the unemployed to obtain employment and get off EI.
There will be several factors in determining what is deemed as suitable work, such as personal circumstance (I.E. health, transportation, family obligations), hours of work, commuting times and working conditions.
Finley argues that this enhances the requirements for EI claimants to be practical to accept all kinds of work.
EI recipients will be treated differently and placed into three different categories:
- How often they have collected EI.
- How long they are currently receiving EI.
- Workers who have been mostly employed for the past decade.
Canadians who presently receive EI benefits will be required to follow certain reasonable job search and employability activities:
- Apply for positions
- Attend interviews
- Improve employability
- Research and assess job prospects
- Search for job vacancy
- Prepare for job vacancies
The “long-tenured” workers who have worked for the last 10 years will be required to take a job within their usual occupation as long as it pays at least 90 percent of their prior hourly wage. After 18 weeks of taking EI, the worker must be less fastidious and willing to take a lower-paying job within 70 percent of their pay grade.
“Our Government wants to make Employment Insurance work better for Canadians," said Minister Finley. "Today, we are announcing improvements to EI that will help Canadians who want to work, get back to work. It is important that we make changes now to ensure the EI program is working most effectively for Canada and Canadians.”
Claimants will also receive frequent job alerts that come from not only Job Bank, but also private sector sources. It will give Canadians on EI necessary information about job opportunities in the local area, within their desired occupation and also related occupations.