On July 29, the Chamber Network sent a letter to the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion to convey employers’ concerns regarding the proposed EI reforms.

As part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, a series of temporary measures were introduced to make the EI Program more accessible and generous for Canadian workers. According to the 2022 Actuarial Report on the EI Premium Rate, these measures will lead the EI Operating Account to a projected cumulative deficit of $33.9 billion by the end of 2022. Budget 2022 projected that the premium rate will need to be gradually increased from $1.58 in 2022 to $1.73 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2025.

Employers are concerned with the projected EI premium increases noted in Budget 2022. The Budget suggests that rates could increase 15 cents (at 5-cent increments from $1.58 to $1.73) over the next 3 years and then remain at the 2025 level until the fund gets back to balance. The impact of these proposed increases will be significant for employers. As the premium rate is multiplied against Maximum Insurable Earnings (MIE), which is indexed to average weekly earnings, the actual cost to employers per employee making the MIE will increase from $1,332.63 in 2022 to $1,574.12 in 2025. This is an increase of 18 percent.

Read the complete letter here.