No companies provide unemployment insurance in Canada. The federal government provides employment insurance benefits to all employed Canadians who are unable to work through no fault of their own. This program is known in Canada as EI.
Canadians are eligible for employment insurance benefits if they are laid off and are available for work and actively seeking a job. Self-employed Canadians and seasonal workers such as those in the fishing industry are also eligible. Benefits are also provided for maternity and parental leave and for those who are sick or provide care for a gravely ill family member. Canadians who voluntarily quit their jobs or are fired for misconduct are not eligible for employment insurance benefits.
Canadians pay employment insurance premiums on their earnings up to a maximum annual salary of $49,500. As of 2015, the rate is $1.88 for every $100 earned. The maximum annual contribution is $930.60. Benefits are based on the highest weeks of earnings over the last year. Employers also contribute to the program.
Benefits can be collected from 14 weeks to 45 weeks, depending on a number of factors including the regional unemployment rate and the number of insurable hours worked in the 52 weeks prior to the claim. A minimum of 420 hours must be worked in most cases.