Today, fewer than 40 per cent of unemployed workers qualify for EI even though they are unemployed through no fault of their own.
As a result of the Conservative government’s 2012 omnibus budget (Bill C-38), it has become even harder to qualify for Employment Insurance. Further, the process of appealing the decision has been changed to eliminate worker and employer seats on the appeals panels.
Employment insurance started in 1940 in Canada (then called Unemployment Insurance) and was modeled after the British unemployment system. The insurance system was introduced because of the growing understanding that unemployment was a “natural” process in advanced capitalist economies and therefore not the fault of the individual worker.
Modern social, political and economic sciences concluded that, since there was always going to be an unemployment rate above zero, the government should act to mitigate the negative social and economic impacts on workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.