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What's New > Human Resources and Skills Development Canada opens Employment Insurance Special Benefits to the Self-Employed

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada opens Employment Insurance Special Benefits to the Self-Employed

posted on 8:34 AM, January 19, 2010

In a press release issued just before Christmas, the federal government announced that Royal Assent has been given to the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act.

This is legislation that the cultural sector has been pressing for, for many years. Self-employed Canadians will be able to voluntarily opt into the Employment Insurance (EI) program effective January 31, 2010, in order to take advantage of the EI special benefits. "Special benefits provided to self-employed individuals will mirror those currently available to salaried employees under the EI program."

Regulations are still being written, but the commitment has been made and the option for the self-employed to access a social security net as do employees will soon be in place. "Self employed Canadians who choose to take advantage of EI special benefits will be required to opt into the program at least one year prior to claiming benefits, and will be responsible for making premium payments for the tax year in which they apply to the program. [...] As a transitional measure those who register on or before April 1, 2010, will be able to collect benefits as early as January 1, 2011."

As of January 31, 2010, it will be possible to register with the EI program through the Service Canada website.


The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) is committed to strengthening the cultural labour force, and strives to be at the centre of vision and forward thinking in the area of cultural human resources development. CHRC brings together representatives of arts disciplines and cultural industries in the cultural sector to address the training and career development needs of employers and cultural workers including artists, technical staff and managers.

For further information please contact Geneviève Chassé 613 562-1535 x31 or by e-mail at gchasse@culturalhrc.ca

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