Employment Insurance Improvements


Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program.

We are improving Employment Insurance (EI) to meet the needs of workers and employers. Read Employment Insurance – Recent improvements and overview to find out what we have done recently to make EI more flexible, inclusive and easier to access.

EI maternity and parental benefits

To help working parents, we are making EI maternity and parental benefits more flexible.

Earlier access to maternity benefits

Pregnant workers can receive EI maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date.

More choice for parents

Parents can choose to receive EI parental benefits over 12 months at a higher benefit rate or over 18 months at a lower benefit rate.

Parental Sharing Benefit

Parents who share parental benefits for a child born or placed with them for adoption on or after March 17, 2019 can receive extra weeks of benefits.

Video: Changes to EI maternity and parental benefits

Short overview of the changes to EI maternity and parental benefits since December 3, 2017.

EI caregiving benefits

We are offering Canadians more options to help them care for their critically ill loved ones.

Introducing a new Family Caregiver benefit for adults

Caregivers who are away from work to support a critically ill or injured adult family member will be able to receive up to 15 weeks of EI.

Introducing a new Family Caregiver benefit for children

Now any family member can receive up to 35 weeks of benefits to care for a critically ill child, rather than only parents. These benefits were previously known as Parents of Critically Ill Children benefits.

Making it easier to apply for caregiving benefits

Medical doctors and nurse practitioners will now be able to sign all EI caregiving medical certificates.

Video: Changes to EI Caregiving benefits

This short video provides an overview of the changes to EI Caregiving benefits which came into force on December 3, 2017.

Other measures

We recently made other changes to the EI program to better support workers when they need it most.

Working While on Claim

With Working While on Claim, you can keep receiving a portion of your EI benefits and all earnings from your job.

Temporary special measures for Work-Sharing

Has your business been affected by the downturn in businesses due to COVID-19? The Government of Canada has introduced temporary special measures that extend the maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for eligible employers, and many other measures to simplify the Work-Sharing Program processes.

No more new entrant and re-entrant rules

We eliminated the stricter eligibility rules for people re-entering the workforce.

Reducing the waiting period from two weeks to one week

This change eases the financial pressure on EI claimants.

Simplifying job search responsibilities

The rules when looking for a new job have been simplified.

Pursuing full-time training

Starting in fall 2018, eligible claimants who lose their jobs after several years in the workforce will have more opportunities to go back to school full-time without losing their Employment Insurance benefits and may also be eligible for student financial assistance.

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