In the Know…A Blog

Liberals to replace CERB with new benefit, simplified EI program

Aug 21, 2020 | CRA News, Payroll & benefits

Simplified EI Program to Replace CERB

There are so many changes being implemented now to support our workers that are unemployed or looking for work. The CERB has been extended to another 4 weeks until September 27th. The Liberals are also rolling out a $37-billion income support plan for people out of work due to the pandemic.
The Liberals are replacing the CERB with a new benefit that will pay $400 a week for up to 26 weeks. The new benefit is through the EI program. The eligibility requirements to have worked 120 insurable hour, well below the current EI requirements of 420 to 700 hours.
Two other new benefits are set to be introduced. a $500 a week sickness benefit and a caregiver benefit. Currently some 8.61 million people have received the CERB benefit which has deterred some from going back to work. Under the new rules the new system will allow workers to keep more of their benefits while working eliminating people not working because of the CERB.
It is estimated that three million people will use the simplified EI program and 1 million people will use the new worker’s benefit that replaces the CERB.
The package still needs approval from Parliament which is prorogued until September 25th.

As many CERB recipients are relieved with the extension the Canadian Federation of Independent Business(CFIB) is worried that a the 120 hours of work is too low of a bar for part-time workers to be able to collect EI.
Dan Kelly in a news release. “This is just too low a bar and will serve as a disincentive for many part-time workers to return to their pre-COVID employment.”

To find out more about the CERB extension here.

Barb Watkis

Barb Watkis


I’m a bookkeeping technology geek who has been in this industry for over 20 years. My specialty is helping small business streamline their workload with paperless business systems. I have also worked as a purchaser for a tech company and a controller for several businesses. Currently I am QuickBooks Advanced Certified.
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