Interim Order Amending the Employment Insurance Act (Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit): SOR/2020-61
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 8
SOR/2020-61 April 1, 2020
EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT
Whereas the Minister of Employment and Social Development may, for the purpose of mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), pursuant to subsection 153.3(1) footnote a of the Employment Insurance Act footnote b, make interim orders;
Whereas, pursuant to subsection 153.3(4)footnote a of that Act footnote b, the President of the Treasury Board consents to the making of the annexed interim Order in respect of Part III of that Act or in respect of a regulation made under that Act for the purposes of that Part;
And whereas, the Minister of Employment and Social Development has consulted with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission before making the annexed Order;
Therefore, the Minister of Employment and Social Development, pursuant to section 153.3footnote a of the Employment Insurance Act footnote b, makes the annexed Interim Order Amending the Employment Insurance Act (Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit).
Gatineau, March 31, 2020
Minister of Employment and Social Development
Interim Order Amending the Employment Insurance Act (Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit)
1 The Employment Insurance Act footnote 1 is amended by adding the following after section 153.4:
Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit
Definition of COVID-19
153.5 (1) In this Part, COVID-19 means the coronavirus disease 2019.
(2) For the purposes of this section and sections 153.6 to 153.13, the definition claimant in subsection 2(1) applies to a person who:
- (a) ceases working, whether employed or self-employed, for reasons related to COVID-19; or
- (b) could have, but for the coming into force of this Part, on or after March 15, 2020, had a benefit period established with respect to any of the benefits referred to in subsection (3).
Benefits referred to in paragraph (2)(b)
(3) The benefits referred to in paragraph (2)(b) are
- (a) benefits paid under Part I, with the exception of benefits paid under sections 22 to 25; and
- (b) benefits paid under section 152.03.
Application of certain provisions
153.6 Subject to any other provision in this Part, only the following provisions of this Act apply to this Part:
- (a) the definitions benefit period and insurable earnings in subsection 2(1);
- (b) the definition initial claim for benefits in subsection 6(1);
- (c) sections 21 and 152.03; and
- (d) Parts III, IV, VI and Part VII.
Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit
153.7 (1) An employment insurance emergency response benefit is payable to a claimant who makes a claim under section 153.8 and who is eligible for the benefit.
(2) A claimant who receives, under a provincial Act or any other provincial mechanism, a sum of money or financial aid of any type and in any form, for reasons related to COVID-19, remains eligible to receive the employment insurance emergency response benefit.
153.8 (1) Any claimant may, in the form and manner established by the Minister, make a claim for the employment insurance emergency response benefit for any two-week period starting on a Sunday and falling within the period beginning on March 15, 2020 and ending on October 3, 2020.
(2) A claimant is not permitted to make a claim after December 2, 2020.
(3) A claimant must provide the Minister with any information that the Minister may require in respect of the claim.
153.9 (1) A claimant is eligible for the employment insurance emergency response benefit
- (a) if they
- (i) reside in Canada,
- (ii) are at least 15 years of age,
- (iii) have insurable earnings of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 52 weeks preceding the day on which they make the claim under section 153.8,
- (iv) whether employed or self-employed, cease working for at least seven consecutive days within the two-week period in respect of which they claimed the benefit, and
- (v) have no income from employment or self-employment in respect of the consecutive days on which they cease working; or
- (b) are a claimant referred to in paragraph 153.5(2)(b).
(2) A claimant is not eligible if,
- (a) they receive, under this Act, a benefit other than the employment insurance emergency response benefit;
- (b) they receive allowances, money or other benefits paid under a provincial plan
- (i) because of pregnancy, or
- (ii) because the claimant is caring for one or more of their new-born children, or one or more children placed with them for the purpose of adoption; or
- (c) they receive or did receive an income support payment under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act.
(3) A claimant does not cease working for the purpose of subsection (1) if they leave their employment voluntarily.
Amount of payment
153.10 (1) The amount of the employment insurance emergency response benefit for a week is $500.
Provincial assistance — COVID-19
(2) For greater certainty, if a claimant receives, under a provincial Act or any other provincial mechanism, a sum of money or financial aid of any type and in any form, for reasons related to COVID-19, the weekly amount of the employment insurance emergency response benefit will not be reduced or eliminated.
Maximum number of weeks
153.11 The maximum number of weeks for which the employment insurance emergency response benefit may be paid to a claimant is 16 weeks.
Social Insurance Number
Social insurance number
153.12 The Minister is authorized to collect and use, for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Part, the Social Insurance Number of a claimant who makes a claim under this Part.
153.13 When a benefit period is being established for a claimant who has received an employment insurance emergency response benefit, in establishing the benefit period, the weeks during which the benefit was paid is not to be taken into account.
2 The provisions of Part VIII.4 of the Employment Insurance Act apply despite any other provision of that Act or any of its regulations.
Coming into Force
3 This Interim Order is deemed to have come into force on March 15, 2020.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations or the Interim Order.)
Parliament has enacted the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act (the Act) to authorize the making of income support payments to workers who cease working for reasons related to the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. As provided in the Act, the amount of the income support payment is to be fixed in regulation by the Minister of Employment and Social Development, with the consent of the Minister of Finance.
The COVID-19 acute respiratory disease is a condition in which affected individuals develop fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing. COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated that it can cause severe, life-threatening respiratory disease. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.
As a result of quarantine and directed self-isolation measures which have been put in place across Canada to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19, Canadians have been urged to remain in their homes and many workplaces have closed temporarily. This has led to many Canadians being unable to work during this period. Many Canadians do not receive Employment Insurance or other income during this time, which may cause serious financial hardship.
The new Act establishes a new income support payment for eligible workers who cease working for reasons related to COVID-19 that would be paid in four-week instalments. The amount of the income support payment per week is to be fixed in regulations by the Minister, as per subsection 7(2) of the Act.
The objective of this regulation is to fix the amount of the income support payment as $500 per week under the Act.
As per subsection 7(2) of the Act, this regulation is being put in place by the Minister of Employment and Social Development, with the consent of the Minister of Finance, fixing the income support payment amount as $500 per week.
This regulation will allow the income support payment to be made to individuals who cease working due to reasons related to COVID-19 and meet other eligibility requirements.
The regulation comes into force upon registration.
As this amendment is directly in response to the immediate and extraordinary public health situation posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, measures need to be in place expeditiously to be effective. Consequently, no prepublication was undertaken.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
There are no implications for modern treaty obligations or Indigenous engagement in these regulations.
The amount is to be fixed in regulations. There is no discretion in the choice of instrument to set the income support payment amount.
Benefits and costs
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is part of the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which will provide direct support to Canadian workers and businesses to help meet the cash needs of Canadian businesses and households, and to help stabilize the economy. These measures will also help ensure that individuals are able to remain at home as directed, thus reducing the risk of further spread of the disease.
Small business lens
No small business impacts are expected to result from these amendments.
These amendments have no impact on administrative burden or costs to business or employers.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
These amendments are not related to any commitments related to other regulatory jurisdictions.
Strategic environmental assessment
A preliminary environmental scan revealed no environmental impacts associated with this regulatory amendment.
Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
These regulations do not target persons of any gender or identified group. The changes will benefit eligible workers who have to cease work due to COVID-19, regardless of other characteristics.
These amendments will allow the Government of Canada to implement the Act and provide support to workers affected by COVID-19.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
These regulations will be implemented immediately upon coming into force.
Employment Insurance Policy
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Employment and Social Development Canada
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