Insurance: Quick EI Tips

By Veronica Leonard

1. EI accepts discrimination such as verbal or physical harassment as grounds for quitting a job. Keep a record of everything but to speak to your employer, union or health & safety committee first to see if it can be resolved.

2. Penalties for employers and employees who lie on a record of employment about hours and income are very severe. Do not try it.

3. If you are regularly laid off from your job and you want to take a course (including ESL or upgrading) ask your employment centre about The Seasonal Feepayer program. The course has to be during your lay-off and you agree to leave the course if you are called back early. Although you have to pay for the course, you will continue to get your EI.

4. Maternity leave of 15 weeks is only for mothers who are giving birth, but Parental leave of 35 weeks can be taken by either parent or shared by both.

5. You cannot work while you are on parental leave but you can attend a course at your own expense as long as you are providing child care part of the day.

6. Never EVER quit a job to go to school, unless it has been approved first in writing by your employment centre case manager and provincial training department as part of a training action plan.

7. If you are thinking of starting your own business, you may be able to get income support from EI for up to 40 weeks as well as training on running a business in Canada. Ask your local employment centre.

8. If you are still unemployed after your EI has run out, even if you have to apply for Social Assistance, you are still eligible to apply for financial support for training programs, including support for tuition, books, childcare & transportation as well as living costs from EI.

9. Never listen to advice of friends about EI, go to your local Service Canada centre or call EI Toll Free 1-800-206-7218 and ask. Guidelines and programs are continually changing depending on the economy and government policies.

10. Never be ashamed to apply for Employment Insurance, it can be the door to new opportunities.