Major changes to CERB, EI announced

August 21, 2020

By HR Reporter |

Emergency benefits extended for 1 month, new ‘recovery’ benefits introduced

The federal government has announced it is giving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) a four-week extension, to a maximum of 28 weeks, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue.

Back in June, the feds had announced the benefit would be available for a further eight weeks.

The program has helped more than 8.5 million people, says the government, which says it will transition people who have been receiving the CERB to a “more flexible and generous” employment insurance (EI) program that has additional features and tools.

“As we carefully and gradually reopen parts of our economy, we are transitioning to more nimble and flexible programs that will help get Canadians back to work, while ensuring we are able to quickly respond to any further labour market impacts due to the ongoing pandemic,” says Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion.

The EI program will now be available to more Canadians, including those who would not have qualified for EI in the past, adding more than 400,000 people. Beneficiaries will be eligible for a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits, and regular benefits will be accessible for a minimum of 26 weeks.

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