QUÉBEC, Nov. 16, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, today visited the Canadian Cancer Society(CCS) – Quebec Division to highlight important changes announced in Budget 2017 that will soon come into effect as part of the Government of Canada's commitment to support family caregivers with Employment Insurance benefits
Beginning December 3, the following improvements will be made to Employment Insurance (EI) caregiving benefits in order to better support workers who take time off work due to specific life events:
These changes will apply to new claims from EI-eligible workers across Canada, as well as self-employed Canadians who opt into the EI program for access to EI special benefits, and who meet minimum income and other requirements to qualify for EI special benefits.
The Canada Labour Code has been amended to ensure employees in federally regulated sectors have job protection while they receive caregiving benefits under the EI program. For employees under provincial or territorial jurisdiction, employment standards vary by province and territory.
These improvements were informed by last year's consultations on EI caregiving, maternity, and parental benefits and reaffirm the Government's commitment to improving the EI program so that it is better aligned with the realities of today's labour market and addresses the needs of Canadian families.
" Our government understands the difficult balancing act that often occurs when a loved one is going through very difficult health circumstances. Even Canadians who haven't had to watch a parent or a sibling suffer from the final stage of a cancer or another illness almost certainly knows someone who has had to juggle a regular job with regular trips to the doctor or to the emergency room.These improvements to Employment Insurance caregiving benefits will make a difference for all those Canadians who work hard and who must also take care of a loved one. "
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Employment Insurance Improvements Budget 2017 EI – Information for employers
Information for EI claimants
EI caregiving benefits:
The EI program currently offers two caregiving benefits: the Parents of Critically Ill Children benefit, available to parents caring for a critically ill child; and the Compassionate Care benefit, available to individuals providing end-of-life care to a family member. As of December 3, 2017, there will be additional support for EI?eligible caregivers who leave work to care for a family member: the Family Caregiver benefit for adults. The suite of caregiving benefits will be grouped into two categories: Family Caregiver benefits (for adults and children) and Compassionate Care benefits.
Family Caregiver benefits
Claimants can share these Family Caregiver benefits either concurrently or separately, and receive their benefits when most needed within a 52-week period.
Compassionate Care benefit
The Compassionate Care benefit provides up to 26 weeks of benefits to individuals who are away from work to care for or support a family member who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death in the next 26 weeks.
If the health condition of the family member deteriorates, caregivers could combine the Family Caregiver benefit with the existing Compassionate Care benefit.
Effective December 3, 2017, a medical certificate signed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner will be acceptable when applying for the Compassionate Care benefit.
Information for employers
Employers should be aware of the changes to EI benefits and corresponding leave provisions under Part III of the Canada Labour Code proposed in Budget 2017, as they may have an impact on their supplementary benefits to EI caregiving benefits, also known as top-ups. All the EI and Canada Labour Code changes, and complementary adjustments to the Employment Insurance Regulations, will be brought into effect on December 3, 2017. Employers should review the terms of any collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts and benefit plans they hold or administer, to assess any implications they may have for their organization and members.
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