Employment Insurance: extension of the duration of benefits
In the 2021 federal budget, the government committed to modernizing the Employment Insurance (EI) program to better meet the changing needs of Canadian workers and employers and to offer better support to Canadian families.
With this in mind, the government confirmed in the most recent 2022 federal budget the extension of the EI sickness benefit from 15 to 26 weeks. This extension is intended to improve the social safety net for those facing illness. The change is expected to take effect by the end of 2022, but the date has yet to be confirmed. We will keep you up to date as soon as we have more information.
Since this change will also have an impact on the Premium Reduction Program (PRP) for plan administrators, consultations are underway.
The PRP allows businesses to claim a reduction in EI premiums if they provide income protection to employees in the form of a short-term disability plan similar to the EI sickness benefit.
Short-term disability insurance offered by a company can reduce the administrative and financial burden on the EI program by acting as a first payer, thereby reducing premiums.
What is the impact of the upcoming change on your plan?
- If your organization is already enrolled in the PRP, there will be no change to your plan when the EI change comes into effect later this year.
- If your organization offers short-term disability insurance and the benefits are coordinated with EI benefits, it will be recommended that the short-term benefit period be matched to the 26-week period when the EI change comes into effect.
- It is also possible to extend the benefit period for short-term disability or the elimination period for long-term disability if you wish. You will need to contact your iA Financial Group Client Relationship Manager to discuss applicable options.
If you have any questions, please contact your advisor or your iA Financial Group Account Executive.