EI Regulations Giving Effect to Federal Budget 2012 Initiatives Now in Force
On June 20, 2012, Regulations Amending The Employment Insurance Regulations (“Regulations”) were registered and are now in force. Pilot Project No. 14, Pilot Project for Calculating Benefit Rate Based on Claimant’s 14 Highest Weeks of Insurance Earnings (Best 14 Weeks), previously scheduled to end on June 23, 2012, is extended by the Regulations and will now end on April 6, 2013. This extension will bridge a gap until the new permanent approach to calculating employment insurance benefits, based on the availability of work in each region of the country (Variable Best Weeks), comes into effect on April 7, 2013. The new approach was announced in the federal Budget 2012.
The Regulations also establish Pilot Project No. 18, Pilot Project to Encourage Claimants to Work More While Receiving Benefits, which introduces a new Working While on Claim (“WWC”) pilot for three years, from August 5, 2012 to August 1, 2015. WWC Pilot Project No. 17, Pilot Project Increasing Allowable Earnings While Claimant is Receiving Benefits, will end on August 4, 2012. Pilot Project No. 18 will reduce a claimant’s benefits by 50% of his or her earnings while on a claim, starting with the first dollar earned, and has been established further to changes announced in the federal Budget 2012. It will test a new approach to create incentives for claimants to accept more available work while claiming employment insurance.