Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 14 - Section 1

14.1.0 Introduction

Historically, teachers were not considered unemployed for the duration of their employment contract, and their annual salary was allocated over the entire period of their contract, including periods during which they did not teach (non-teaching periods). The Commission has always maintained that benefits are not payable to teachers during any non-teaching periods.

In 1980, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that teachers are only paid for the days they teach (S.C.C. 15540, 1980, FCA A-267-77). The Court also found that teachers have an interruption of earnings and a separation from employment during non-teaching periods. Consequently, earnings can only be allocated to days that a teacher actually teaches.

To maintain the original intent not to pay regular benefits during non-teaching periods, to claimants who are engaged in the occupation of teaching a regulation was introduced, limiting entitlement to EI benefits to very specific situations (EIR 33). The regulation providing for the payment of maternity, parental, compassionate care and family caregiver benefits during the non-teaching period also provides that certain conditions must be met before regular and sickness benefits can be paid during any non-teaching periods.

This chapter and the accompanying annexes are intended to clarify the entitlement to EI benefits, of teachers during these non-teaching periods. Teachers’ entitlement during the teaching period is subject to the same entitlement conditions of claimants in any other occupation. The legislative provisions in relation to what constitutes a week of unemployment (Digest Chapter 4), and to a claimant’s availability for work (Digest Chapter 10) also apply. References to teachers in this chapter apply to all individuals employed in the occupation of teaching, as defined in EIR 33.

[August 2021]

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