ARCHIVED — Vol. 147, No. 6 — March 13, 2013

Registration

SOR/2013-27 February 28, 2013

EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT

Regulations Amending the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations

P.C. 2013-173 February 28, 2013

RESOLUTION

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission, pursuant to section 153 of the Employment Insurance Act (see footnote a), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations.

February 27, 2013

IAN SHUGART
Chairperson
Canada Employment Insurance Commission

MARY-LOU DONNELLY
Commissioner (Workers)
Canada Employment Insurance Commission

JUDITH ANDREW
Commissioner (Employers)
Canada Employment Insurance Commission

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, pursuant to section 153 of the Employment Insurance Act (see footnote b), approves the annexed Regulations Amending the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations, made by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE EMPLOYMENT
INSURANCE (FISHING) REGULATIONS

AMENDMENT

1. Section 12 of the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following after subsection (4):

(4.1) A claimant to whom benefits are payable under subsection 23(1) of the Act and whose claim for benefits because of illness, injury or quarantine is made for a week that begins on or after the day on which this subsection comes into force is not disentitled under paragraph (4)(a) for failing to prove that they would have been available for work were it not for the illness, injury or quarantine.

COMING INTO FORCE

2. These Regulations come into force on the later of the day on which sections 15, 16 and 21 of the Helping Families in Need Act, chapter 27 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012, come into force and the Sunday after the 10th sitting day after the day on which these Regulations are tabled in the House of Commons.

REGULATORY IMPACT
ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issue

Employment insurance (EI) sickness, maternity, parental and compassionate care benefits (special benefits) play an important role in supporting workers and their families. In addition to 15 weeks of maternity benefits that are payable to birth mothers, up to 35 weeks of parental benefits can be shared by parents caring for a newborn, or a newly adopted child or children.

The Employment Insurance Act (EI Act) also provides sickness benefits to claimants who demonstrate that they are unable to work because of a prescribed illness, injury or quarantine. To receive sickness benefits, insured persons, including fishers, must also show that, but for their illness or injury, they would be “otherwise available for work.” As a result, claimants in receipt of EI parental benefits cannot receive sickness benefits as they are not considered otherwise available for work.

The Helping Families in Need Act, which received Royal Assent on December 14, 2012,amends the EI Act to waive this requirement and allow EI parental benefit claimants to qualify for EI sickness benefits if they fall ill or are injured.

In order to support full implementation of the initiative to enhance access to EI sickness benefits for EI parental benefit claimants and ensure all claimants are treated the same, an amendment to the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations (EI Fishing Regulations) is necessary. Three amendments to the Employment Insurance Regulations (EI Regulations) have also been concurrently made.

The EI Fishing Regulations set the eligibility criteria for special benefits to $3,760 of insurable earnings from employment as a fisher in the qualifying period. This provision allows certain fishers to qualify for EI special benefits despite not having the earnings that would normally be required to qualify for regular benefits, such as new entrants and re-entrants and fishers living in regions where more than $3,760 of insurable earnings is required. However, these claimants are not entitled to sickness benefits if they cannot prove that they would “otherwise be available for work.”

An amendment is necessary to waive the “otherwise available for work” requirement to provide enhanced access to EI sickness benefits for fishers in receipt of EI parental benefits and who qualify for special benefits with at least $3,760 of insurable earnings from employment as a fisher.

Objectives
  • Support full implementation of the amendments to the EI Act to provide enhanced access to EI sickness benefits for claimants in receipt of EI parental benefits.
  • Ensure that fishers who claim EI benefits are treated as other claimants.
Description

The EI Fishing Regulations are amended to allow fishers in receipt of parental benefits, and who qualify for special benefits with at least $3,760 in insurable earnings from employment in fishing, to be exempt from the “otherwise available” provision if they wish to switch their claim from EI parental to sickness benefits.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply because the amendments impose no administrative burden on employers.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to the amendments, as there are no additional costs on small business.

Rationale

This amendment aligns the EI Fishing Regulations with the amendments in the Helping Families in Need Act, as well as with related amendments to the EI Regulations. Along with the associated amendments to the EI Regulations, this amendment enables full implementation of the enhanced access to EI sickness benefits initiative for all claimants in receipt of EI parental benefits and ensures all claimants are treated the same.

Approximately 6 000 claimants per year are expected to benefit from the changes to the EI Act and related Regulations. However, of these 6 000 claimants, only a negligible number are expected to be fishers. Therefore, it is estimated that the cost associated specifically with fishers would be negligible.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The Department’s existing compliance mechanisms will ensure that the provisions contained in the EI Fishing Regulations are properly implemented.

Contact

Jean-François Roussy
Director
Self-Employed, Special Benefits and Horizontal Policy
Employment Insurance Policy
Skills and Employment Branch
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J9
Telephone: 819-956-3717
Fax: 819-934-6631
Email: jeanfrancois.roussy@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca