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CKA Super Elite
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 Edmonton Oilers
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Posts: 8533
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:50 am

From the NDP website:

OTTAWA– The majority of working women are being shut out of access to Employment Insurance (EI), says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Two out of three women who pay into the Employment Insurance Program are not eligible for benefits if they leave or lose their jobs.

“Women’s participation in the workforce is dramatically different than that of their male counterparts,” say NDP Critic for the Status of Women Irene Mathyssen. “Study after study shows that EI is not designed to reflect women’s participation in the workforce. This is unacceptable and we call on the Harper government to rectify this immediately. Women are paying an economic penalty for having children.”

The current EI system increases the financial struggles of average working families. The CCPA report illustrates that those who are disadvantaged – those with lower incomes, or lower education – are the least likely to be eligible for benefits. One in every three mothers lacks access to maternity and parental benefits under Employment Insurance.

The NDP critic for Employment Insurance, Yvon Godin (Acadie Bathurst) presented a bill in the House of Commons that would reduce to 360 hours the required hours to be eligible to EI.

“Because we know that women are most affected by EI eligibility criteria because of part time work, reducing the number of hours required to benefit from the program would increase the number of women gaining access to it,” said Godin. “No one should be punished because they decided to work part-time to take care of their family. We have to stand up for everyday families in this country.”

The NDP has also called for benefits to be extended to self-employed and farm workers, an extension to five yearsof the ‘reach-back’ period that limits eligibility, and the elimination of the two week waiting period.

This is a change long overdue, and even a little restrained. As it is, a worker needs to work 600 hours in a 52-week period to be eligible for EI maternity benefits. I can personally attest to the difficulty of attaining this threshold as my wife recently returned to work from mat leave, and we're finding it difficult to make the required 12.5 hours per week between me working full time, looking after the baby, and all the other things we've got going on.

I'd also like to see the payout rate drastically increased from 55% to at least 75% or even 80%. We're already taking a hit in earnings by not being able to work as much, and the pitiful payout rate will be a double-whammy once we come to try to go back on EI.

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Posts: 136
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:50 am

Women do a considerabe amount of work after work and I think that time should count as EI hours. The problem is the program became a catch all, instead of its original intent, that being an insurance program. If you make too much money and collect do to break up in the spring, they claw the money back and that too is wrong.
The money from this fund is also used for all kinds of other programs and they could pay out more. It should also be a straight insurance program, not what it has become.

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