The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended by an additional four weeks to a maximum of 28 weeks. This means that for the many Canadians expecting to exhaust their CERB benefits at the end of August, they will now be able to access an additional month of support.
The government will transition people who have been receiving the CERB to a more flexible and generous EI program for those who qualify, which will provide them additional features and tools to get back into the workforce.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have had a negative impact on a worker’s weekly earnings, either because they lost their job or saw their hours of work reduced. To give Canadians seeking employment the support they need to get back on their feet, the government is making changes to the EI program. EI will now be available to more Canadians, including those who would not have qualified for EI in the past, adding more than 400,000 people into the program.Those receiving EI will be eligible for a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits, and regular benefits will be accessible for a minimum duration of 26 weeks. The government will continue to work with provinces and territories to ensure Canadians receiving EI benefits have access to skills training and employment supports, to help them get back to work.
The government will also freeze the EI insurance premium rates for two years, so Canadian workers and businesses will not face immediate increases to costs and payroll deductions due to the additional expenses resulting from the pandemic.
Additionally, to ensure Canadians receive the support they need during these challenging times, we are proposing implement three new benefits:
The Government intends to introduce new legislation to support the implementation of the new benefits.
By returning to the EI program, and introducing new complementary recovery benefits, we are ensuring Canadians have access to better supports that will help them through the next phase of our recovery. As we gradually and safely restart our economy, the Government of Canada will continue to put Canadians first, so we can move forward and build a Canada that works for everyone.