Employment Insurance: Small Bang for Big Bucks
This commentary discusses the problems that have arisen with the introduction of the Employment Insurance (EI) Act which replaced the former Unemployment Insurance Program in 1996. The purpose of the new program was to move people off EI and to provide more active work measures to ease their reentry to the labour market. In order to support active work measures, Employment Insurance shifted funds from the income side to the employment side of the equation. Eligibility criteria were tightened up, making it more difficult for unemployed individuals to qualify for EI in the first place. Insurance coverage for the unemployed has fallen to its lowest level ever. Diminished coverage means not only that fewer Canadians have access to income benefits. It also means that the majority of Canadians have no access to the employment measures that are supposed to be the centre piece of the new legislation.
ISBN – 1-894159-89-6