Joint Statement by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and the Commissioners of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission

GATINEAUQC, February 17, 2022 /CNW/ – Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough; the Commissioner for Workers of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC), Pierre Laliberté; and the CEIC employers’ commissioner, Nancy Healeytoday released the following joint statement at the conclusion of the final roundtable of the first phase of consultations on the modernization of the Employment Insurance (EI) program in Canada:

“The government of Canada and the Canada Employment Insurance Commission would like to thank the many participants from across the country who shared valuable insights during this first phase of consultations on modernizing the Employment Insurance program. The pandemic has shown us how important a strong and responsive EI program is. It must ensure that benefits are accessible, adequate and fair across the country for the unemployed. The last two years have shown us the importance of having a system that supports all workers, while encouraging participation in the labor market.

Since the launch of consultations in August 2021employer and worker groups, community organizations, industry groups, self-employed and gig worker associations, parent and family associations and academics shared their expertise and experience to help modernize employment insurance to make it simpler, more responsive, inclusive and sustainable.

Including the opening and closing roundtables, we hosted ten national stakeholder roundtables and 11 regional stakeholder roundtables that focused on gathering input on a range of issues under the overall theme of improving access to employment insurance.

An online survey was also conducted with August 6, 2021 until November 19, 2021 in which Canadians shared their views on how to improve the Employment Insurance program so that it continues to be relevant to today’s labor market and workforce. The online consultations generated over 1,900 responses to the online questionnaire from people across the country and approximately 60 submissions from groups and individuals representing employers, workers and unions.

Throughout the consultations, stakeholders agreed that the EI program must adapt to meet the changing nature of work. They also stressed the importance of reforming Employment Insurance to better support employers who are experiencing labor shortages through worker training and development.

They shared their views on the barriers to accessing benefit flexibility when taking different EI benefits in succession, the classification of workers, flexibility for seasonal workers and the provision of off-season support.

This spring, we will release a report summarizing what we heard during this first phase. We look forward to continuing the conversation later this year during the second phase of the consultation process, which will delve into issues such as coverage during life events, supports for self-employed and gig workers, l adequacy of benefits and the financing of employment insurance. .

The feedback received through these consultations will help us create an EI program that better serves workers and employers and meets the challenges of today and tomorrow. Together, we will continue our work to bring from Canada employment insurance program at 21st century.”

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada


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Michael A. Bynum