Ottawa, Ontario — The Variable Best Weeks measure for the calculation of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, introduced in April 2012 under the Government’s Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act. came into force today, announced the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
“With this change, our government is making sure the EI program remains fair, flexible and responsive so that it supports Canadians when they need it,” said Minister Finley. “The new approach to calculating benefits will ensure people living in regions with similar labour market conditions are treated the same.”
The new Variable Best Weeks measure aligns the calculation of weekly benefits with the local labour market conditions in each region. This approach is applied nationally and is responsive to economic changes.
For most Employment Insurance (EI) claimants, EI benefits are now calculated using the best (highest) weeks of earnings during the qualifying period (generally 52 weeks prior to the start of a claim). The number of weeks used
will range from 14 to 22, depending on the unemployment rate in the particular EI region.
Variable Best Weeks replaces the previous legislation and the Best 14 Weeks pilot project.
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This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca .
Employment Insurance (EI) is Canada’s largest labour market program, providing income replacement to help individuals and their families, as well as training and support to help Canadians return to work. This new pan-Canadian approach will enhance fairness and flexibility by ensuring that Canadians in regions with similar unemployment rates will be treated the same.
The Variable Best Weeks approach will not apply to self-employed Canadians or fishers, since their qualification and benefit rate calculation is based on different criteria.
Number of Variable Best Weeks calculation rates