OTTAWA, Sept. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, together with Ms. Jennifer McCrea, announced that a settlement agreement has been reached to resolve a class action between the federal government and parents who, between 2002 and 2013, applied for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits while in receipt of EI parental benefits and were denied.
The Government of Canada recognizes the challenges faced by Canadians who cannot work because of illness, injury and other family challenges and has reached a settlement agreement with the McCrea class to bring closure to these legal proceedings. If the settlement is approved by the Federal Court, class members will receive an amount equal to the EI sickness benefits they would have received at the time had their claims been approved. The total settlement amount is estimated at between $8.5–$11 million.
Improving the EI program is a priority for the Government of Canada. Several measures have recently been implemented to ensure that the program is better aligned with the realities of today's labour market and that Canadians have access to benefits when they need them most.
In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada announced increased support to parents and family caregivers by providing them with benefits that are more flexible, inclusive and easier to access in order to better meet their unique family and work circumstances. These changes to maternity, parental and caregiving benefits came into effect on December 3, 2017.
In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced that the Working While on Claim pilot provisions will be extended to EI maternity and sickness benefits so that Canadians who wish to gradually return to work after an illness or the birth of a child have flexibility to do so without jeopardizing their EI benefits. These changes came into effect on August 12, 2018.
- The McCrea class, which was certified by the Federal Court on May 7, 2015, is comprised of parents who, between 2002 and 2013, applied for sickness benefits while in receipt of parental benefits and were denied.
- Prior to 2013, claimants could not switch from parental benefits to sickness benefits unless they could show that they were otherwise available for work.
- In 2013, access to sickness benefits was expanded on a go forward basis to allow claimants who became sick while in receipt of parental benefits to claim sickness benefits and subsequently revert to parental benefits.
If you believe you may be affected by the proposed settlement:
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Michael Brewster, A/Press Secretary. Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]