The employment insurance premium rate for 2018 will increase for both employees and employers, while maximum insurable earnings for 2018 will increase to $51,700 from $51,300 in 2017.

For employees, the employment insurance premium rate will rise to $1.66 for $100 of insurance earnings, an increase of $0.03, while the employer rate will go up $0.04. The new rate is an increase on 2017’s rate of $1.63, though it still represents a reduction of $0.22 from the 2016 rate of $1.88, according to the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

The government also announced that residents of Quebec covered under the province’s parental insurance program will see premiums reduced by $0.36 per $100 of insurable earnings. As such, they will pay $1.30 per $100 of insurable earnings.

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Additionally, the commission announced premium reductions for employers registered under the premium reduction program. For 2018, it’s estimated the reductions will provide registered employers and their employees with $981 million in premium relief.

“The government of Canada is committed to ensuring that employment insurance contributions are used only to fund EI programs, to support the long-term sustainability of the program,” said Minister of Finance Bill Morneau and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos, in a statement.

Read: Reforms to employment insurance will help workforce: report

“The new rate for 2018 will be lower than the projected rate of $1.68 per $100 of insurable earnings included in Budget 2017. This is a clear reflection of the strength of the economy, and a sign that the government’s plan to grow the economy, create jobs and strengthen the middle class is working. More Canadians are working and paying into the EI program, and fewer are unemployed and drawing EI benefits,” they added.

“New investments in the EI program announced in Budget 2017 will extend the parental benefit period up to 18 months to provide more flexibility for working parents, expand EI benefits to incorporate a new caregiver benefit for critically ill adults, broaden eligibility for EI-funded skills training programs and employment support, and make additional investments to provide Canadians more opportunities to upgrade their skills, gain experience or get help to start their own business. The 2017 and 2018 rates will be the lowest EI premium rates since 1982.”

Read: Budget boosts parental leave to 18 months, introduces caregiving benefit

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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