The National Council of Unemployed Workers (NCUW) is launching the campaign “The Time is Now”, with ads in numerous newspapers and online to ask the government for the much needed reform of Employment Insurance (EI), in order to modernize the program and make it fairer and more accessible.

The time is NOW to repair the social safety net and to, once and for all, reform Employment Insurance!

An EI Reform must address those two issues:

The expansion of coverage, to sectors of society which are currently excluded from EI, primarily self-employed workers, but also those who are poorly protected: part-time and seasonal workers, and Indigenous communities. Extending coverage also means easing the overly severe penalties and sanctions for dismissal or resignation. Before the temporary crisis measures, one in four applicants, who had worked and contributed to EI was excluded because of these policies.

Improving protections: raising the rate and extending the period of benefits, modifying the calculation method, and seeking to simplify the application of this program by introducing simpler universal rules, because this program has become unnecessarily complex.