From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Official title: Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2020 and ending March 31, 2021: Highlights

The Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report presents the analysis of the impact and effectiveness of the benefits and other assistance provided under the Employment Insurance Act. The reporting period is the fiscal year starting on April 1, 2020 and ending on March 31, 2021 (referred to as FY2021). The highlights below relate to this period or reflect changes between FY1920 and FY2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the Canadian economy and labour market throughout FY2021.

On March 15, 2020, the Government implemented the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to provide income support to eligible employed and self-employed Canadians who stopped working due to COVID-19.

In fall 2020, the Government transitioned from the CERB to a simplified EI program. A set of EI temporary measures were introduced between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021, facilitating access to EI benefits, providing up to 50 weeks of regular benefits and a minimum benefit rate of $500 per week.

Both the number of new EI regular claims established and the total amount paid in EI regular benefits largely increased over the previous year.

The eligibility rate for EI regular benefits increased from the previous year.

The Work-Sharing program played a key role in helping businesses and workers address COVID-19 related challenges and keep businesses open and employees on the job, ensuring a skilled and job-ready workforce as the economy recovers. The number of Work-Sharing agreements, new claims and total amount paid increased sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest increase in the program’s history.

EI special benefits were available throughout FY2021, except for sickness benefits which resumed on September 27, 2020.

In FY2021, Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) were an important support for workers and employers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In FY2021, Service Canada implemented a series of measures to further enhance its services for EI clients, while responding to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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