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MEDIA RELEASE: Increased EI Support for Sick Workers 

November 28, 2022

Federal Government Announces Welcome Changes to EI Sick Leave Benefits After Years of Worker and Union Advocacy  

November 28, 2022 – For years, unions and workers in Canada have been calling on the federal government to increase EI benefits for Canadians who are facing illness or injury. On Friday afternoon, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that the Government of Canada is taking action to improve Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits to help these workers. Starting on December 18, 2022, there will be a permanent extension of EI sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 26 weeks.

“FFAW-Unifor has been pushing for these increased benefits in national and provincial lobby efforts as our members, especially those in the seasonal workforce who become ill during production season, can face a complete loss of benefits or significant reduction,” explains FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan. 

“This is a welcome announcement and should be a part of the Government’s broader commitment to reform the EI program, as promised. FFAW-Unifor has been on the front lines of this fight at the national level and will continue to pressure the Federal Government to modernize the EI system to ensure it works for all workers,” said Alyse Stuart, Staff Representative at FFAW-Unifor who worked closely on achieving these needed changes. 

Individuals who qualify and establish a new claim on or after December 18, 2022, will be able to receive up to 26 weeks of EI sickness benefits if they are sick and require this time to recover. EI sickness benefits are paid at 55% of the applicant’s average weekly insurable earnings, up to a maximum entitlement of $638 for 2022.

“The provision of an extra 11 weeks of sick leave will keep the wolves from the door for so many workers who are already facing insurmountable challenges with prolonged injury or illness, and we applaud the federal government for listening to workers and implementing this much needed reform,” concludes Sullivan. 



For media inquiries, please email, call or text: 

Courtney Glode (she/her)
FFAW-Unifor Communications