New EI rules kick in

Posted By: Canadian Press · 1/6/2013 4:44:00 PM

 Contentious changes to employment insurance are now in effect.    

Beginning Sunday, people on EI face stricter, more complex rules for keeping their benefits, with the goal of getting unemployed workers back into the workforce sooner.    

To help people get back to work, the government has also launched a new service to provide information on available jobs and labour market conditions to subscribers via e-mail.    

``The new job alerts system is an important part of our government's plan to better connect Canadians with available jobs in their area,'' said Human Resources Minister Diane Finley in a statement Sunday.    

The changes to the EI program were first spelled out in May and elaborate on what the government defines as searching for a suitable job.    

A suitable search for a job must now include preparing resumes, registering for job banks, attending job fairs, applying for jobs and undergoing competency evaluations. 

A suitable job is defined by factors including commuting time, whether the hours are compatible with the claimant's life and wages.    

It will also take into account personal circumstances, such as health, physical capability to perform work, family obligations and transportation options.    

The new rules also break down job seekers into essentially two groups: people who've long paid into EI but rarely make a claim and those who are regular users of the system. 

A suitable job search for the latter group must include jobs that are similar to what they used to do and if one of those isn't available after a certain period of time, the job seeker has to take any position they are qualified for and accept as much as a 30 per cent pay cut.    

The changes have been met with criticism from some politicians and union leaders.  The Atlantic premiers say the new rules could have a devastating effect on fishery, farming and tourism industries which are all seasonal jobs.     

Policing the new system to make sure claimants are following through is expected to cost the government about $7.2 million per year.  But savings to the EI program are expected to be worth $12.5 million in benefits this year and $33 million next year.    

Documents posted with the new regulations in December said it's expected that about 8,000 EI claimants will have their benefits temporarily discontinued until they can prove they are meeting the new rules.    

Statistics Canada said Friday that 40,000 job were created in December, all of it in full-time work, driving the unemployment rate to its lowest in four years.     

Photo:  Government of Canada

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  1. Robbie P. posted on 01/06/2013 06:56 PM
    So their "big" initiative to help people find jobs, is a half-assed e-mail campaign about available jobs in their area? In my experience, as someone who has used their services when I lost my job because the company went out of business - their support for the most part is useless.
    For the most part, companies looking for people do not look through emploi quebec. Sure, you'll find that 25 hour a week job stacking shelves at Wal-Mart there, but nothing you can live on. As for them teaching you on how to prepare resumes, each person I saw - gave contradictory advice on how to do this, some swore it had to be 2-pages, others either a 1-pager or 3 pages - there's no agreement on this. Most of their staff seems to concentrate on trying to catch cheaters rather than help people out. Dissapointing!
  2. Royv posted on 01/06/2013 10:24 PM
    Wonderful 12.5m then maybe we some some thing like 33m saved into the coffers

    Now 8000 People denied benefits,, I wonder where they will make ends meet and not become hopefully what is a burden on our Social Welfare sytem or rather people avoiding " declared " work ?
    shoveling walks for money at this time of year is not a bad idea,,but when people are put into hard spots and start taking desperate measures ,,,,the government will tell us that the 33 milion dollars saved probably went into welfare or Crime prevention.
    1. Mike posted on 01/07/2013 01:10 PM
      @Royv Conservatives don't do crime prevention. They do repression. They increase sentences and build more prisons. That's not prevention. The Government has actually made huge cuts to bona fide programs that reduce crime and made applying for the small amounts that are available much more difficult. Plus, the programs that do work can often not apply for renewal past the first year.
  3. Mike posted on 01/06/2013 11:50 PM
    Typical Conservative move. Let the fatcats and friends of the Government get away with bilking Canadians for hundreds of millions but instead lets go after those who have loss their jobs and make them jump through hoops to get a pitance. How about puting the Conservative MP's who lose their seats in the next election through a similar process. Then we'll see how they like it.
  4. J.S. posted on 01/07/2013 07:31 AM
    There are no doubt people who bilk the system. But people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own are going to be punished by this gang of conservative idiots that have the nerve to call this an action plan. Hopes of a happy new year are soon dashed with a cold dose of reality. We have the p.q. idiots to deal with in provincial politics and the conservative morons in federal politics. In the U.S. the goverment just voted to extend u.i. benefits and here they want to take away something the workers payed for. U.I. insurance is not optional it is mandatory but don't try to collect. People over 65 who chose to continue working have to pay but cannot collect, people who work for family have to pay but cannot collect ,what a f ckin scam these thieves have set up.
  5. sam posted on 01/07/2013 12:07 PM
    has anyone ever used their email job alerts before? Terrible. Even after putting in my all skills and qualifications it sent me notices on jobs which were either way out of my areas of expertise, severely underpaid or very far. I have worked in media for years and was sent jobs to be a hyrdo worker climbing poles on a temporary basis. Sure thing.
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