Canada Service centre documents that display Employment Insurance options are pictured in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Newly released research says broad swaths of the Canadian workforce won’t have access to paid leave by their employers or existing federal help should they be forced off the job due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Study says few workers have paid leave, qualify for EI if off job due to COVID-19

Experts says federals will likely have to create an emergency benefit for workers who can’t access EI benefits

New research says broad swaths of the Canadian workforce won’t have access to paid leave from their employers or existing federal help should they be forced off the job due to COVID-19.

The research note from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says 38 per cent of sickness leave and 23 per cent of family leave of more than a week was covered by employers in 2019.

About three-quarters of workers in higher-paying jobs had time off covered by their employers, while just over 10 per cent of workers in the lowest income decile received a similar benefit last year.

The report says further complicating issues is that the most unemployed workers didn’t qualify for employment insurance benefits in 2018, the most recent numbers of available.

David Macdonald, the centre’s senior economist, says most of the workers who could use financial assistance can’t easily work from home right now, meaning closed schools, self-isolation or quarantine will mean lost shifts and plummeting incomes.

He says the federal government will likely have to create an emergency benefit for workers who can’t access EI benefits as part of an economic response package Finance Minister Bill Morneau is to unveil this week.

ALSO READ: Great Canadian to close 10 B.C. casinos amid COVID-19 worries

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Saanich teen earns $100,000 commerce scholarship to the University of Calgary

Matias Totz is graduating from St. Michaels University School

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read