The Government of Canada announced changes in Employment Insurance (EI) caregiving benefits to support family caregivers who take time off due to specific life events.
- Caregivers who provide care to a critically ill or injured adult family member will have access to a new benefit of up to 15 weeks, and
- Immediate and extended family members of children who are critically ill will, for the first time, have access to a new benefit that was previously available only to parents. The Family Caregiver benefit for children will replace the Parents of Critically Ill Children benefit and continue to provide up to 35 weeks of benefits.
The changes apply to new claims from Employment Insurance-eligible workers across Canada, as well as self-employed Canadians who opt into the EI program for access to EI special benefits, and who meet minimum income and other requirements to qualify for EI special benefits.
The Canada Labour Code has been amended to ensure employees in federally regulated sectors have job protection while they receive caregiving benefits under the EI program. For employees under provincial or territorial jurisdiction, employment standards vary by province and territory.
The EI and Canada Labour Code changes, and complementary adjustments to the Employment Insurance Regulations are effective December 3, 2017.