FEDERAL Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau on Thursday announced that a Liberal government will make changes to Employment Insurance to make it easier for families to access benefits when caring for a seriously ill family member.
“Caring for each other is an essential part of what it means to be Canadian,” said Trudeau. “Too many Canadians are forced to leave their jobs and drain their savings to provide essential care to ailing loved ones. Not only is this unfair, but it hurts our economy. We need caregivers working over the long-term, and helping us grow the economy for the middle class.”
Currently, Canadians only qualify for compassionate care benefits if the person requiring care is at risk of dying within a six-month period. Under the proposed Liberal plan, Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits will be available to any Canadian providing care to a seriously ill family member. Liberals will also build more flexibility into the program by allowing the six-month benefit to be claimed in blocks of time over a year-long period. The benefit is an investment of $190 million per year and will require no increase to Employment Insurance premiums.
“We know that too many Canadians shoulder the responsibility of caregiving, and a Liberal government is committed to making a real difference for those who need it most,” said Trudeau. “Liberals will provide caregivers with the financial support and job security they need during these especially difficult times. We will continue to stand up for Canadian families.”