While the loss of employment is often emotionally and financially stressful, individuals facing such circumstances might take some solace from the availability of employment insurance or EI (once called unemployment insurance) to somewhat lessen the impact, even temporarily, until a new job could be secured. Basically, since they were paying EI premiums while working, they should likely be eligible for EI benefits when not working.
Unfortunately, a disturbing trend in recent years has negatively affected the potential for those who are unemployed to now qualify for EI benefits: they are not accumulating a sufficient or a consistent number of employment hours to access these funds. This is very evident in major metropolitan centres such as Toronto, where it has been reported that less than 20% of the jobless in this area are collecting employment insurance.
There are several reasons why members of the Toronto workforce do not have enough hours to qualify for EI benefits if and/or when find themselves out of a job:
- More and more individuals are only able to find a part-time job (or more than one)
- Contract jobs have become more common (filled through employment agencies)
- Seasonal or temporary jobs are more routine (also filled by employment agencies)
- Downsized workers are moving into self-employment but contract work is sporadic
- Toronto attracts new immigrant workers who in turn need 960 work hours to qualify
What is perhaps even more disconcerting is the fact that many people working in these less-traditional roles are still paying EI premiums even though it is essentially a given that they will not meet the hours requirement to apply for or receive benefits when their employment period comes to an end.
Other factors not directly related to insufficient qualifying hours but still contributing to the low EI rate in Toronto are:
- Some people in the above-described positions do not pay EI premiums
- Those who voluntarily leave their employment are not eligible to collect
- Some of the jobless are regularly unemployed and hence do not qualify
For individuals working on a part-time or contract basis, it can indeed be very difficult to accumulate enough hours within a specified time period to become eligible for EI. It can also be equally difficult to secure such jobs in a highly-competitive urban environment like Toronto. Therefore, job seekers in the GTA may find it beneficial to use agency starting services, such as Winters Technical Staffing, to find and maintain a consistent level of employment.
Our staffing services include much more than just job placements. Those gaining employment through a staffing agency remain employees of that agency i.e.: they are paid by the agency. Therefore, they will be contributing EI premiums via agency payroll services – and establishing a fundamental prerequisite if a need arises to claim benefits.
Furthermore, these employment agencies offer a number of advantages/opportunities that can lead to the accumulation of a sufficient and/or consistent number of work hours to qualify for EI should such an action be required. These advantages include access to:
- A wide range of employment opportunities at any given time
- Job postings that might not otherwise be publicized/made known
- Part-time, contract, seasonal, or project-based work
- Temporary positions that may develop into full-time roles
- Employers who rely on employment agencies for their HR needs
- Market trending data for Toronto – pending expansions or downsizing?
Working together with employment agencies, such as Winters Technical Staffing, may offer significant benefits to those currently seeking employment in a challenging job market like Toronto. With an increasing emphasis on part-time, temporary, or contract work, it is becoming more difficult for individuals to protect themselves i.e.: to qualify for employment insurance, should their services no longer be required by their employers. Through our professional staffing agency, job seekers might substantially improve their prospects to qualify for and claim EI benefits if needed.
Contact Winters Today
To determine if our staffing services would benefit your current employment situation, call Winters Technical Staffing today at 1-877-495-7422 to schedule your complimentary consultation.