January 15, 2017
Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the waiting period for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits changed from two weeks to one week.

Announced earlier this year as part of the 2016 federal budget, the change does not impact the number of weeks of paid benefit. Instead of a two-week waiting period followed by 15 weeks of paid benefit, there will be a one-week waiting period, followed by 15 weeks of paid benefit, and one week with no benefits.

Plans registered with the Employment Insurance Premium Reduction Program will have to reduce the waiting period from Weekly Indemnity (WI) and/or Short-Term Disability (STD) benefits from two weeks to one week in order to preserve any EI premium reduction they are receiving.

Most Long-Term Disability (LTD) plans are designed for benefits to commence after the previous 17 weeks of EI (now 15). A change may or may not be required, however, employees will have one week where no benefit is paid before LTD benefits begin.

Impacted employers will receive a notice from Service Canada advising of the changes. Contact your insurance provider for any clarifications or changes required to your plan.