An EI System that Works for Everyone

Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) system is one of the most important protections workers have. Yet, prior to COVID-19, as many as 1 in 3 unemployed workers were denied EI coverage. Self-employed people — such as freelancers, contractors, and gig workers — are unable to contribute to the system.

COVID-19 has taught us that having programs we can all rely on matters. We believe that if you work, you should be covered.

A re-elected Liberal government will:

  • Introduce a new EI benefit for self-employed Canadians, delivered through the tax system, that would provide unemployment assistance comparable to EI and lasting for as much as 26 weeks. This could provide support of nearly $15,500 when it is needed most.
  • Self-employed Canadians seeking to access this benefit would only be responsible to contribute the portion they would normally pay if they were a salaried employee. Further details regarding this benefit will be developed over the coming year with the launch of this new benefit happening in January 2023.
  • Strengthen rights for workers employed by digital platforms so that they are entitled to job protections under the Canada Labour Code and establish new provisions in the Income Tax Act to ensure this work counts toward EI and CPP while also making these platforms pay associated contributions as any employer would.
  • Move forward with a stronger and more inclusive EI system that addresses gaps made obvious during COVID-19. Based on the input received from consultations on the future of EI that are currently underway, we will bring forward a vision for a new and modern EI system that covers all workers, including workers in seasonal employment, and which is simpler and more responsive for both workers and employers.