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Benefits and job protection: Which approach would you prefer?

over 3 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

If a new EI benefit and unpaid job-protected leave under the Canada Labour Code were introduced, which approach would you prefer:

  1. up to 6 to 12 weeks of support, available to anyone who needs to take time off work to provide care for someone with a serious illness or injury and significant care needs (20 or more hours of care per week); or
  2. up to 26 weeks of support, available to those who need to take time off work to care for someone with a life-threatening condition and a sudden need for care?

Please share your views and experience.


Consultation has concluded

  • PPH over 3 years ago
    Because of the increase in precarious employment, the minimum hour threshold to qualify for EI is becoming more elusive for many workers. For instance, according to a recent report from the Caledon Institute of Social Policy (Torjman, November 2016), only 40% of workers qualify for regular EI benefits today. While the discussion paper outlines several potential options, is it possible that caregivers/workers could be provided a menu of options that best meets their personal needs? For instance, the time period could be in one or several blocks to a total of 26 weeks in a one or two year timeframe. Or, perhaps, partial leaves can be provided over a one year period (i.e., the caregiver/worker reduces their hours to part-time and collects EI for the other half)—in essence, stretching the support over 52 weeks rather than 26 weeks.- Peterborough Public Health
  • ThereVeg over 3 years ago
    I'm a caregiver of 2 elderly parents living in a rural community who are sick at the same time. One is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's and in the last year has transition from living independently at home to being admitted to the hospital, and now resides in a seniors facility. The other has recently had their mental deteriorate and has been in a mental health facility getting care. All of this has required working with our provincial health resources (AHS) which requires lots of appointments and phone calls. Connecting with AHS all needs to be done during 9-4, which is when I'm working. I have benefits with my employer. However, there was nothing to cover me taking time off for these appointments other than using my vacation time. My benefits include compassionate leave but not the time off needed for appointments. Part way through the year my employer changed the benefits program and sick days and now called SIM time which includes taking time off cause an immediate family member is sick has a health need. Now I earn 7 hours a month for these appointments! Before this happened I thought I was going to need to quit my job, I was sinking trying to work, take of 2 parents, and take care of my family. Having SIM time has made it more manageable. The best part is I feel supported and understood by my employer instead of feeling like I was annoying them with asking for days off to care for my parents. So, my answer to your question is neither. I want days off or a lump sum of hours to care for my parents throughout a year. I have a great employer but for those who don't legislation that provides time off for caregiving for a child who sick or a senior parent is what I see being needed. I'm sure with an aging population multiple approaches are required. If we don't I could see the health care system getting even more overwhelmed than it already is.
  • Sarah994 over 3 years ago
    Up to 26 weeks allows for bereavement and managing the many issues related to funeral/estate, etc. in the case of palliative/end-of-life. For others who are caring for chronically ill care recipients, the extra time may/may not be needed dependent upon the care recipient needs.
  • Christine over 3 years ago
    There shouldn't be a question on which one we prefer or which is more important. EI must be provided to workers having to take time off to care for a loved one, who is sick, injured, or in a life threatening situation, whether that be temporary or permanent. Workers need to know that their job is protected while caring for their families.
  • TimDeelstra over 3 years ago
    There should just be job protection and EI coverage for workers when they need it. This was the purpose behind creating the EI system and benefits should be available to workers when they need them.
  • DavidMichaelangelo over 3 years ago
    It's important that people have as much support as possible when dealing with life-threatening illnesses. Without proper protection, loved one's suffering is amplified. There should be no question that people need to be protected and taken care of when going through these situations, the only question is how much time is enough. At a minimum, 6-12 weeks should be provided. 26 weeks should be considered as well, however.
    Hide reply (1)
    • rjpatenaude over 3 years ago
      The new CCB provides 26 weeks for terminally ill if you qualify.The Government couldn't care less about caregivers that save the system millions of taxpayer dollars.ALS victim and caregiver living on $881 per month income with no other support.Joany's Journey with ALS
  • Kyndarah over 3 years ago
    There shouldn't be a question on which one we should prefer, or which one is more important. There should be financial support for anyone having to take time off to care for a loved one, who is sick, injured, in a life threatening situation, whether that be temporarily or permanent.I just got the all clear from my Doc 2 weeks ago, after fighting stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma for 2 years. My husband and I have 3 children ages 9, 5 and 2. There was NO way that I could care for my children while going through the intense treatment of chemotherapy, alone. My Husband was able to drop down to part-time. At first this was okay, but then the chemo really started hitting me hard with lots of complications.. So he ended up having to take a leave of absence from work, with NO pay. During that time, we had to get help from other family members financially. It took us about a year and a half to get a disability claim. Our poor family did everything they could, but now we are so far in debt, because we couldn't get the financial support that we so desperately needed, in time.This is a huge issue! Not just getting extra help with "caregivers", but also for claiming disability. It took WAY too long to get the assistance we needed, and even then, it was still hard to make ends meet, with only a part-time job supporting us, part of the time.
    Hide reply (1)
    • rjpatenaude over 3 years ago
      Shamefull how long it takes to get service from well paid government employees with benefits way beyond the average taxpayer.They would never survive as a private business.Yet we let them push us around.We have been waiting for a reply from top government officials for over 9 months !Joany's Journey with ALS
  • Debora1 over 3 years ago
    EI should be provided for workers having to take time off to care for a loved one, who is sick, injured, or in a life threatening situation, whether that be temporarily or permanent. Workers need to know that their job is protected while caring for their families.
  • rjpatenaude over 3 years ago
    In many cases accurate prognosis for terminally ill is not possible and differs greatly for victim to victim.My wife and I may be a little different story, we have been travelling for over 16 months on my wife's bucket list Journey. I provide all her care in our unofficial mobile ALS care unit adapt at our own expence.WE ARE SAVING THE WELFARE/HEALTH CARE SYSTEM A TON OF TAX PAYER DOLLARS.#1 Figure out how much a primary spousal caregiver saves the system. Then cut them a check.#2 Provide CCP survivor benefits for caregiver when CPPD is provided for terminally ill.#3 Easier access to services in other provinces.My wife wanted to move home to Alberta and do some travelling. We are now on month 19 of a 3 to 18 month prognosis and still going strong. Our meager income of $881 per month is eaten up by health care fees.Our Journey has been financed by selling everything we owned and the gracious help of friends, family and once strangers, but now friends.The pave the world , retire in an rv culture is well ingrained in our generation and what wee wanted to do.See Joany' s Journey with ALS on that social media book
  • RWheeler over 3 years ago
    IF there was a program where a person who had worked their entire life , as in my case, and had to retire early to become a caregiver, could avail of their CPP prior to age 60 to top up their income to the level it was prior to retirement, then I think that would help immensely. As a one income family, financial hardship is a very stressful to the caregiver of a loved one.
    Hide reply (1)
    • rjpatenaude over 3 years ago
      At the very least we should receive the survivor benefit portion, while we are caring for our loved ones.Every dying person should have access to one 26 week compassionate care benefit, if no family members other than the primary spousal caregiver are willing to provide full time care. The primary caregiver automatically receives the benefit, no qualifications needed just an ability to provide care for six months.
  • RWheeler over 3 years ago
    My wife has Huntingtons Disease. It is a terminal genetic brain disease with no cure , treatments. 100 percent fatal. she is only 51. I had to leave my job to care for her because I could get no homecare assistance. I was a police officer for 28yrs. I get my pension, at a reduced rate, but income our level has dramatically increased and she has no income. I feel in cases such as mine, a spouse who becomes a caregiver should be able to avail of some sort of program to cover loss of income so financial hardship is not a reality when one leaves work. One can live for months to years. because i had to retire , I did not quality for any EI support. I can not put her in a long term care facility because its cost's $3000 per month.
    Hide reply (1)
    • rjpatenaude over 3 years ago
      Shameful that you have to suffer this way, thank you for your civil service and taking care of your wife.My wife is 55 with terminal ALS, our income $881 per month, before we pay for all her care needs. See Joany's Journey with ALS on face book if your interested.