Among the many changes taking effect in 2017 is the reduction to the waiting period for employment insurance to one week.
The cut to the waiting period, which used to be two weeks, applies to all types of benefits: regular, fishing, sickness, maternity, parental and compassionate care, as well as those paid to the parents of critically ill children and those who are self-employed.
The change may indirectly affect employers with top-up arrangements supplementing employment insurance. As a result, employers may need to adjust top-up payments aligned to the prior two week waiting period in order to avoid double payments.
“By shortening the waiting period, we are taking a concrete step to ease financial pressures for claimants who have lost their jobs or who leave work for health reasons or family pressures,” Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children and social development, said in a release.
The government expects the shortened waiting period, which is part of a series of changes to employment insurance, will give Canadians an extra $650 million each year.
The changes are in addition to other provisions taking effect in 2017 that affect areas such as Canada Pension Plan contributions. They include a $400 increase (to $55,300 in 2017 from $54,900 last year) to the year’s maximum pensionable earnings under the CPP. As a result, the maximum employer and employee contribution to the CPP will increase slightly to $2,564.10 each for 2017.