CFIB: EI Change Will Be Good For Business

May 27, 2012 | Corporate Member News

Sweeping changes to Canada’s Employment Insurance program are being hailed by the Canadian Federation of Business.

The changes would require users of EI to broaden their job searches and force them to find work faster, even at a lower wage.

Those changes should help remove disincentives to work and hopefully make it easier for small firms to find the people they need,” said Janine Carmichael, CFIB’s Manitoba Director.

“In Manitoba the shortage of qualified labour is a big issue for business owners. They are looking for more staff. Our members support these changes to EI to ensure that business owners don’t end up competing against EI for those types of workers. We think it’s a great idea to be trying to encourage more workers to be out there getting jobs that are available.”

In the first quarter of 2012, 46 per cent of small firms reported difficulties in finding the staff they need to put their products or services to market.

“Under the current system, 25 per cent of Manitoba small business owners said they had difficulty hiring as potential workers would rather stay on EI benefits and another 18 per cent said they had been asked by an employee to lay them off to allow them to collect benefits,” said Carmichael. “Employers agree that EI should be there for those who lose a job through no fault of their own. They do not, however, accept that the system should be used as some form of paid vacation or ongoing lifestyle for those who choose not to work.”

The new rules will also put tougher conditions on people with three or more EI claims in the past five years, or who have collected EI for more than 60 weeks in the past five years


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