Seasonal workers who are eligible for employment insurance could be in for a nasty surprise after September 24.
On that date, the federal government will revert to regular unemployment benefits, a little more than two years after it relaxed the rules in response to the health situation that led to a number of temporary closures.
Under the current unemployment rate, 490 hours of work will allow for 23 weeks of benefits, leaving workers facing a black hole, according to Nadia Mongeon, coordinator of Mouvement Action Chômage Pabok.
She deplores the fact that the government’s vision for reforming employment insurance is still pending.
In a context of seasonal industries and labour shortages, Ms. Mongeon and her organization have been advocating for workers to be able to collect benefits while earning a certain salary, as was the case before the Harper government’s reform.
Similarly, she sees the current model as punitive for voluntary departure, creating issues for people who would like to work off-season but get their jobs back during the summer.
The regional unemployment rate is currently estimated at 11.3%.