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NEWS: Harper’s changes to EI discriminatory against women

CBC reports, “Many Canadians may be surprised to learn that after going on parental leave they might fail to qualify for employment insurance — a policy some are calling discriminatory. Currently, people who apply for EI in Canada are evaluated based on a certain number of hours worked during the past 52 weeks of employment. But CBC Montreal’s investigative unit discovered that parents who spent those weeks on maternity or paternity leave do not qualify for benefits. Current policy does not allow new parents to use the same work weeks to qualify for both maternity leave and EI.”

“Ed Canning, an employment lawyer with Ross McBride law firm in Hamilton, estimates about 2,000 women fail to qualify for EI every year because of maternity leave.”

“Jennifer Beeman, a co-ordinator with the Council for Women’s Access to Work, says the policy goes against decades of women’s rights advocacy. ‘Women have been fighting for 50 years saying maternity leave is not unemployment, they are not the same thing,’ Beeman said. ‘When I am on maternity leave after having given birth, I am probably working harder than I ever have; I am not getting any sleep and providing for the needs of the family.'”

The Council of Canadians is supporting a major demonstration against Harper’s changes to EI planned for April 27 in Montreal. More details on that soon.

For more, please read:
NEWS: Major protest in Montreal against Harper’s EI changes on April 4