Eliminating new entrant and re-entrant rules

The Government amended the rules to eliminate the higher EI eligibility requirements that restricted access for new entrants and re-entrants to the labour market. Under the previous rules, new entrants and re-entrants to the labour market had to accumulate at least 910 hours of insurable employment before being eligible for EI regular benefits.

As of July 3, 2016, new entrants and re-entrants now face the same eligibility requirements as other claimants in the region where they live (between 420 hours to 700 hours of insurable employment).


Donald lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he has worked part-time over the past six months since graduating from college. He was recently laid off.

Under the previous EI eligibility rules, Donald would have been considered a new entrant to the labour force. As a result, he would have needed to have worked at least 910 hours over the past 52 weeks to qualify for EI benefits. Since Donald only worked 780 hours over this period, he would not have qualified for benefits.

Under the new changes, Donald faces the same EI eligibility requirements as other claimants in his region. As of July 3, 2016, the threshold for applicants living in Winnipeg is set at 665 hours. Donald meets this requirement, and will receive up to 17 weeks of EI benefits while he looks for new work to start his career.

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