Summary of changes from the Federal March 2016 Budget HR and Payroll people need to know

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1. Reduced waiting period for EI Benefits

  • The first key change is to reduce the waiting period for new recipients from 2 weeks to 1 week effective January 1, 2017.
  • Administrative improvements to speed up actual delivery of benefits.


2. Extension of EI “working while on claim: Pilot

  • The program which allows the unemployed to accept new work without giving up their EI benefits is being extended until August 2018. The “clawback” rule which cut $.50 in EI benefits from every $1 claimants earn after they make a certain amount, up to a maximum 90% of weekly insurable earnings, will stay in place.


3. Expansion of Work-Sharing Program

  • The work-sharing program enable companies to avoid layoffs by giving employees the option to work fewer hours and still receive EI benefits. The new Budget calls for doubling the maximum duration of work-sharing arrangements from 38 to 76 weeks.


4.  Increase Flexibility of EI Compassionate Care & Parental Leave Benefits

  • There is not timeline or firm details as yet but the Federal Government is committed to working in the years ahead to make EI parental leave benefits more flexible and make it easier for workers providing care for seriously ill family members to access EI Compassionate care benefits.


5. New Canada Child Benefit

  • The Universal Child Care Benefits (UCCB), Canada Child Tax Benefits (CCTB) and the National Child Benefit (NCB) will be replace by the new Canada Child Benefit of up to $6,400 per child under age 6 and $5,400 per child ages 6 through 17 and will begin July 2016. It will be tax-free and decreases as income increases.  As before, additional amounts will be provided if a child is eligible for the disability tax credit.

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