Finley Announces New Employment Insurance Rules

The Human Resources Minister, Diane Finley, made a news statement on Thursday announcing that much controversial new Employment Insurance rules, intended to cope with growing unemployment in Canada by putting more effort in searching for available jobs, will be implemented on Jan. 6. There are numerous concerns regarding the rules, alleging that they are particularly hard on seasonal workers.

Ms. Finely laid down the outline of Ottawa’s new definitions of a “reasonable” job search and “suitable” employment. These new rules will be replacing the current one-size-fits-all EI rules with a three tiered system. Ms. Finely explained that “long-tenured workers” will be allowed more time for searching a new job in their field, while “occasional claimants” will be given lesser time and “frequent” claimants will be expected to hurriedly accept any available work. The new release stated that these changed rules have been permitted through proper regulations, although thorough details are not yet online at the time the news release was distributed.

During the interview, Ms. Finley claimed that public servants in her department will be making common sense decisions on their own. She added that “It’s only a guideline and it will vary according to personal circumstances,” explain that “for example, if somebody is looking at a job for minimum wage in a town 20 miles away in a rural area where there is no public transit and they don’t have a car, that wouldn’t be reasonable because they’d have to pay for a cab and they’d end up being worse off than not working or being on EI. It’s all based on common sense.”

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