Regulations Amending the Income Support Payment (Number of Weeks) Regulations: SOR/2020-189
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 19
SOR/2020-189 August 29, 2020
CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT ACT
The Minister of Employment and Social Development, with the consent of the Minister of Finance, pursuant to subsection 8(2) of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act footnote a, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Income Support Payment (Number of Weeks) Regulations.
Gatineau, August 28, 2020
Minister of Employment and Social Development
Regulations Amending the Income Support Payment (Number of Weeks) Regulations
1 Section 1 of the Income Support Payment (Number of Weeks) Regulations footnote 1 is replaced by the following:
1 For the purpose of subsection 8(1) of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act, the maximum number of weeks for which income support payments may be made to a worker is 28 weeks.
Coming into Force
2 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are made.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Parliament has enacted the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act (the Act) to authorize the making of income support payments to workers who cease working for reasons related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Act provides that the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), with the consent of the Minister of Finance, may fix the maximum number of weeks for which an income support payment is to be made to a worker.
The COVID-19 acute respiratory disease is a condition in which affected individuals develop fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing. COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated that it can cause severe, life-threatening respiratory disease. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.
As a result of quarantine and directed self-isolation measures that have been put in place across Canada to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19, Canadians have been urged to remain in their homes, and many workplaces have closed temporarily. This has led to many Canadians being unable to work during this period. Many Canadians do not receive Employment Insurance or other income during this time, which may cause serious financial hardship.
The Act establishes an income support payment for eligible workers who cease working for reasons related to COVID-19 that is paid in four-week instalments. As measures are taken to gradually reopen the economy, it is expected that people will return to work. However, some workers may be providing care to children or family members due to COVID-19; may be sick or in quarantine or self-isolation; or may not be able to return to work if the workplace conditions are not safe. As the first 24 weeks of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will end on August 29, 2020, many workers may still not be able to return to work, depending on their personal situation, and may continue to require income support.
The maximum number of weeks of the income support payments may be fixed in regulations by the Minister of ESDC, with the consent of the Minister of Finance, as per subsection 8(2) of the Act.
The objective of the Regulations Amending the Income Support Payment (Number of Weeks) Regulations (the Regulations) is to fix the total number of weeks for which an income support payment may be paid to a worker at 28 weeks under the Act.
As per subsection 8(2) of the Act, these Regulations are being put in place by the Minister of ESDC with the consent of the Minister of Finance. These Regulations will allow the income support payment to be made to individuals who cease working due to reasons related to COVID-19 and who meet other eligibility requirements for up to 28 weeks, which represents an additional 4 weeks over the previous total of 24 weeks.
The Regulations come into force upon being made.
The regulatory amendments contain measures to respond directly to the continuing and extraordinary public health situation posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, and to provide additional assistance to workers who may need additional weeks of income support as the economy gradually reopens. These measures need to be in place expeditiously to be effective. Consequently, no prepublication was undertaken.
The maximum number of weeks may be amended by regulation. There is no discretion in choice of instrument.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
There are no implications for modern treaty obligations or Indigenous engagement in these Regulations.
Benefits and costs
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is part of the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which provides direct support to Canadian workers and businesses to help meet the cash needs of Canadian businesses and households, and to help stabilize the economy. The measures contained in the plan will also help ensure that individuals are able to remain at home as directed, and return to work as circumstances allow, thus reducing the risk of further spread of the disease.
Small business lens
No small business impacts are expected to result from the amendments.
The amendments have no impact on administrative burden or costs to business or employers.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
The amendments are not related to any commitments related to other regulatory jurisdictions.
Strategic environmental assessment
A preliminary environmental scan revealed no environmental impacts associated with the regulatory amendments.
Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
These Regulations will assist workers in a broad sense who are unable to return to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Regulations do not target persons of a particular gender or identified group, preliminary data regarding workers who have accessed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit indicates that beneficiaries identify as 49% female and 51% male, and that about 18% are aged 15–24, 24% aged 25–34, 20% aged 35–44, 17% aged 45–54, 16% aged 55–64, and 6% aged 65 and older. These figures reflect the claimants who accessed the benefit through the Canada Revenue Agency portal or the Employment Insurance portal.
The amendments will allow the Government of Canada to provide support to workers affected by COVID-19, and facilitate the gradual reopening of the economy.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
These Regulations will be implemented immediately upon coming into force.
Employment Insurance Policy
Skills and Employment Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, 7th Floor