Updates on COVID 19

Thursday, May 28th 3:30pm

Hello everyone,

I trust that you are all healthy as are members of your immediate family.

Time has gotten away from me and I apologize for not having communicated any sooner. I have been very busy working on new product developments, marketing projects and managing the company’s affairs. Being shorthanded and given the circumstances – everything seems to take longer to accomplish and is far more complicated than it needs to be.

When our governments (fed and provincial)  announced the lockdowns, we all thought it would last 2 to 3 weeks. As more information on the virus became available and infection and mortality rates climbed alarmingly, reopening the economy kept getting pushed forward.  Now that many sectors have recently reopened perhaps prematurely as some may think, all of you are wondering what the plan looks like for the company as a whole and yourselves as employees.

Firstly, let me state and it should not come as a surprise to anyone that the principal market PNH has been serving for years – that of EVENTS is and will be seriously challenged for this summer and perhaps through even next summer. The Trade shows and exhibits sector is not far behind if not exactly in the same boat. I believe these will come back to life once a preventive vaccine or a very effective drug serving to treat the virus have become available and been administered to a great majority of the population. In the meantime, we need to quickly reinvent ourselves in terms of developing new products and/or better serve existing as well as new markets. In both cases, we need to recognize our collective strengths and skillsets to leverage the equipment we have in order to find creative solutions that will get us through this. As examples of this, we have developed many products serving to combat the spread of the virus. From Isolation rooms for hospital beds to facemasks, to cashier shields to gowns and I am skipping quite a few, we have gone in directions I never imagined nor thought possible as recently as a few months ago. We have also introduced new marketing decks highlighting these new products while recycling some of our old standards ( tents and flags, Neptune stands Etc ) which equally apply in the fight against the virus. New marketing decks have covered “ healthy Retail”, “Healthy Offices” etc. There has been no lack of effort so far and it is a direction in which we need to persevere in order to remain relevant to our customers. The next areas of reopening as I understand them to be will be restaurants, then office buildings, malls, schools etc. All of these sectors will require specific products to address their specific needs while also requiring some of the new products already recently developed ( ie: isolation rooms for hospital beds can be used/adapted to separate machines in gyms or for waiting rooms ) as well as our old standbys. We will put more emphasis on custom-built retail displays and tasting stations as another example of expanding existing markets.

The plan has consisted in bringing people back gradually in a manner consistent with our revenue generation. Our sales this march, when all of this started, hit approx. 20 % of prior years revenues for the same month. In a same manner, April sales this year were 14% and it looks like May’s sales will hit approx. 28%. As you can see we are quite far from historical levels. I am sure that you will recognize and understand that those sales levels do not justify bringing everyone back.  Most of those who have been brought back are considered to play a direct role in the production of orders, either in the factory or as sales support or purchasing. The remainder such as Claude and Freddy have been brought back in part for product development, prototyping and production. Others such as Carlos and Katherine are involved in renderings and marketing.  Daniel, Alain and I have been here all along on substantially cut salaries. Yelena has come in for a day here and a day there to help with invoicing and payables. Sales reps continue to be entitled to their commissions.

On the other hand, the Federal Government announced a plan where at the end of the day salaries are subsidized at the rate of 75% while the company is responsible for the remaining 25 %.

A few comments about this program. The way it works is that the company through regular payroll every two weeks pays those employees under the program 100% of their salaries. An application is then made as much as a month later to receive the 75% subsidy and it is typically disbursed 2 weeks later. In other words, this creates a cash flow issue for the company for the better part of a month and a half and then a net outflow and expense for the remaining 25% of the salaries. This explains why we are trying to match as closely as possible salaries with corresponding revenues. This explains why we are taking employees back as revenues are generated and grow.

We have worked on many quotes which left us hopeful that we could bring back more of you sooner. Some of you have worked on these quotes on your own time and I just wish at this time to express my gratitude for these efforts. Unfortunately in some cases decisions have not yet been made while with others we did not win the bids. There is  a lot of uncertainty out there in the marketplace where decision-makers are taking a wait and see attitude as to how things get played out inasmuch as they are concerned.

I wish I could be clearer as to what the future holds but I simply don’t know any more than the next guy. I remain optimistic that things will gradually settle in and sort themselves out. I do know however those things for PNH will not any time soon come back to where they were (re events and trade shows/exhibits) before all of this started. This is why we need to be creative and aggressive in the pursuit of opportunities. We need to remain strong and proactive as well.

I feel for all of you and especially those of you waiting in the wings to be called. It cannot be easy to be confined to one’s home for so long and to make the cutbacks you have had to in order to try to make ends come close to meeting. It causes a lot of stress and trauma.

Please understand that I am trying to manage the company the best I can where the end game is to have a healthy enough company that can bring all of you back while providing you with rewarding employment. It’s not at all easy or stress-free.

I have above described the plan and some of the directions we have taken. I am very open to hearing from you if you have better ideas and thoughts. You can also vent if you wish.

I expect to communicate with you more often and especially when significant events occur.

Please stay healthy,



Monday, March 30th 2020 2:00pm

Please note that there is a fraudulent email currently circulating informing people that “your $2,000 Canada Emergency Benefit cheque is ready”. Do not click on the link in this email as it is fraud.

Tuesday, March 24th 2020 5:00pm

  • You can apply for Employment Insurance benefits right away
  • The next pay will be deposited to your account on April 2nd according to the normal schedule.
  • The Record of Employment will be available in the middle of next week.
    • It will be issued electronically only; there will be no paper version and no Record of Employment will be mailed.
  • The Record of Employment will be available on their personal “My Account – Service Canada” account.
  • Every employee must have a personal account with Service Canada.
  • Your “my Service Canada Account” will be required to inform the government of your weekly activity status (hours worked or not, income received or not, etc.) in order to receive your benefits over time.

Tuesday, March 24th 2020 12:00pm

Please find below FAQs 

1.Do I need my record of employment to begin my employment insurance (EI) application?

No, you can begin and finalize your application without a record of employment.

2. While I apply for EI, do I need a reference number?

No, as the layoffs weren’t planned, they aren’t considered to be part of a ‘group layoff.’ As a result, there isn’t a reference number.

3. What kind of benefits do I need to apply for?

You need to apply for regular benefits.


Monday, March 23 2020

Please find below information on Employment Insurance (EI) 

Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job.

Always apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment (ROE). If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.

1.Am I eligible?

You may be entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits if you:

  • were employed in insurable employment;
  • lost your job through no fault of your own;
  • have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks;
  • have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter;
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day;
  • are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them).

Number of hours of insurable employment required to qualify for EI

The number of hours of insurable employment you need to qualify for EI depends on your situation. However, in all cases, the hours of insurable employment that are used to calculate your benefit must have been accumulated during your qualifying period.

The qualifying period is the shorter of:

  • the 52-week period immediately before the start date of your claim; or
  • the period from the start of a previous benefit period to the start of your new benefit period, if you applied for benefits earlier and your application was approved in the last 52 weeks.

Exception: In some cases, the qualifying period may be extended to a maximum of 104 weeks if you were not employed in insurable employment or if you were not receiving EI benefits.

You will need between 420 and 700 hours of insurable employment based on the unemployment rate in your area during the qualifying period to qualify for regular benefits:

Once you have determined the unemployment rate in your area, see the table below for the number of hours required.

Look up EI Economic Region by Postal Code to find out the unemployment rate in your region and the number of hours to qualify for regular benefits.

2.How much you could receive?

We cannot tell you exactly how much you will receive before we process your application. For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $54,200. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $573 per week.

How long you could receive EI regular benefits

You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in your region at the time of filing your claim and the amount of insurable hours you have accumulated in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is shorter.

3. What you need before you start

To complete the online EI application for EI regular benefits, you will need the following personal information:

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
  • your mother’s maiden name.
  • your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal codes.
  • your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, bank branch number, and account number
  • names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks
  • your detailed version of the facts (if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks)
  • the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings Footnote1 in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your benefit rate.

You may also have to provide the following details if you are reactivating an existing claim:

  • the salary amount you received, before deductions, for the last week you worked (from Sunday to your last day of work), including insurable tips and commissions
  • any other amount you received or will receive (such as vacation pay, severance pay, pension payments, pay in lieu of notice, and other money)

When you apply for EI benefits, be sure to sign up for direct deposit to get your payments as quickly as possible. When you use direct deposit, your EI payments are deposited automatically into your bank account two business days after we process your EI report.

If you do not sign up for direct deposit at the time you complete your EI application, you can sign up any time after you apply through My Service Canada Account.

Calculation of benefits

The amount of weekly benefits is calculated as follows:

  • We calculate your total insurable earnings for the required number of best weeks (the weeks that you earned the most money, including insurable tips and commissions) based on the information you provide and/or your Record(s) of Employment
  • We determine the divisor (number of best weeks) that corresponds to your regional rate of unemployment
  • We divide your total insurable earnings for your best weeks by your required number of best weeks
  • We then multiply the result by 55% to obtain the amount of your weekly benefits.

In regions of Canada with the highest rates of unemployment, we will calculate using the best 14 weeks; in regions of Canada with the lowest rates of unemployment, we will use the best 22 weeks. In other regions, the number of weeks used to calculate benefits will be somewhere between 14 and 22, depending on the unemployment rate in those regions.

Family supplement

If your net family income does not exceed $25,921 per year, you have children and your spouse receives the Canada Child Benefit, you are considered a member of a low-income family. Therefore, you may be eligible to receive the EI family supplement.

The family supplement rate is based on:

your net family income up to a maximum of $25,921 per year; and

the number of children in the family and their ages.

The family supplement may increase your benefit rate up to 80% of your average insurable earnings. If you and your spouse claim EI benefits at the same time, only one of you can receive the family supplement. It is generally better for the spouse with the lower benefit rate to receive the supplement.

As your income level rises, the Family Supplement gradually decreases, so that when the maximum income of $25,921 is reached no supplement is payable.

Taxable EI benefits

EI benefits are taxable, no matter what type of benefits you receive. Federal and provincial or territorial taxes, where applicable, will therefore be deducted from your payment.

4. Apply

Please review the eligibility criteria before starting your application.

To find out if you are eligible to receive EI regular benefits, you must submit an application online. It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application.

The website takes you step by step through the application process, and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form.

When you apply for Employment Insurance benefits, you will be asked for your email address. If Service Canada needs more information about your claim and cannot reach you by phone, a Service Canada agent will send you a toll-free number by email, asking you to call an agent.

If you started a new Employment Insurance (EI) claim within the last 52 weeks and there are still weeks payable on that claim, we will automatically reactivate (renew) your existing claim when you submit your application.

In some cases, it may be to your advantage to cancel or end your old claim and start a new claim, because this may increase the amount of your benefits or the length of your benefit period.

You must decide whether or not to cancel or renew a claim based on your own personal situation.

It is important to consider:

  • if your claim is reactivated and you work after the start of that claim, you may be able to establish a new claim when your existing claim runs out.
  • in order to establish a new claim you must have enough insurable hours and meet the qualifying conditions for a new claim.
  • if a new claim is established instead of reactivating your existing claim, the remaining weeks payable on the existing claim will be lost.
  • additionally, a one-week unpaid waiting period must be served on a new claim before you are entitled to receive payment.

Visit My Service Canada Account for more information about your previous claim.

6. After you’ve applied

If you are entitled to receive EI regular benefits, you should receive your first payment within 28 days of the date we receive your application and all required documents.

You must complete bi-weekly reports to prove your eligibility and to receive benefits to which you may be entitled. Failure to do so can mean a loss of benefits.

Before you start receiving EI benefits, there may be one week for which you will not be paid. This is what we call the “waiting period.” The waiting period is like the deductible that you must pay for other types of insurance.

If you are not entitled to receive EI benefits, we will contact you by letter or by telephone to explain why. If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to request a reconsideration.

Shortly after you submit your EI application, we will mail you an EI benefit statement. This does not mean that your application has been approved. Your Benefit statement will provide the information you need to complete your reports with our Internet reporting service or our Telephone reporting service.

Your access code is the four-digit code printed in the shaded area of your benefit statement. You need to have it with you whenever you want to obtain information about your benefit claim and when you submit your reports. Your access code is used to identify you and ensure confidentiality of the information you provide. Store your access code in a safe place, separately from your Social Insurance Number.

While your EI claim is active, you must submit reports every two weeks to show you are still entitled to receive EI. Failure to do so can mean a loss of benefits. The most convenient way to submit your reports is through the Internet Reporting Service. You can also use the Telephone Reporting Service at 1-800 531-7555 or complete your paper report.

An EI claim will end if:

  • you receive all the weeks of benefits to which you were entitled; or
  • the payment timeframe during which you can receive benefits ends; or
  • you stop filing your bi-weekly report; or
  • you request a termination of your claim to file a new claim.

If you start working before you finish your current EI claim, you must tell us when you complete your bi-weekly EI report so we can adjust or stop your claim, depending on whether the work is full-time, part-time or by contract. If the work is short-term or contract you may re-activate your EI claim and continue to receive your bi-weekly payments when you are laid off.

Missing ROEs can delay the processing of your claim.

  • If your employer issues ROEs in paper format, you must request copies of all ROEs issued to you during the last 52 weeks and provide them to Service Canada as soon as possible after you submit your EI application. Paper ROEs are generally filled out by hand and have serial numbers that start with A, E, K, L or Z. You must either mail us the original copies of your paper ROEs or drop them off in person at a Service Canada Centre. The mailing address will be provided to you on the Information and Confirmation page once you submit your online application for EI benefits.
  • If your employer submits ROEs electronically to Service Canada, they are not required to print you a copy; however, they may give you one as a courtesy. If this is the case, the serial number of your ROE will start with W or S. Electronic ROEs are directly sent to Service Canada, therefore, you do not need to request copies of your ROEs from your employer, and you do not have to provide copies to Service Canada. You can view copies of your electronic ROEs by visiting My Service Canada Account.

Outside of Canada while on EI

You are not usually eligible to receive regular benefits while you are away from Canada. However, you may receive regular benefits if you show that you are available for work in Canada while abroad. You must also notify Service Canada of your travel by filling out a travel form on My Service Canada Account (MSCA) or through your bi-weekly report.You can be outside Canada for a period of seven consecutive days for the purpose of:

  • attending the funeral of a member of your immediate family or a close relative
  • accompanying a member of your immediate family to a medical facility, provided that the treatment sought is not readily available in the family member’s area of residence in Canada
  • visiting a member of your immediate family who is seriously ill or injured
  • attending a bona fide job interview

You can be away from Canada for a period of 14 consecutive days for the purpose of conducting a bona fide job search.

If you indicate that you have taken measures to be reached if an employment opportunity presents itself during your absence and that you are able to return to Canada within 48 hours, we will accept that you have proven your availability.

One measure we take to enforce this rule is to compare EI information with information from the Canada Border Services Agency. If we find you have been out of the country while collecting benefits, we will determine whether you were entitled to receive those benefits. If you were not entitled to receive them, we will calculate how much we overpaid you, and you will then have to repay the benefits.

We may also impose penalties of up to three times your weekly benefit rate or three times the amount of your overpayment. As well, you may have to work more hours or, in the case of fishing benefits, you may need more insurable earnings to qualify for benefits in the future.

Where can you get more information about your Employment Insurance claim

Information about your Employment Insurance (EI) claim can be obtained through My Service Canada Account. You can also register for Alert-Me to receive e-mail alerts when important new EI claim information is available in your MSCA.

Changing your address or requesting direct deposit information

Using My Service Canada Account is the most convenient way to update your personal information, including your mailing address, telephone number, and banking information for direct deposit.

If you don’t already have an account, you can easily create one using your four-digit EI access code (printed in the shaded area at the bottom of your benefit statement).

Receiving regular benefits and other types of EI benefits at the same time

You can normally receive up to 50 weeks of benefits when regular benefits are combined with maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care or family caregiver benefits in the same benefit period (of 52 weeks).

The only exception is when EI regular benefits and extended parental benefits are paid during the 52-week period. As extended parental benefits are paid at a benefit rate of 33% of your average weekly insurable earnings, once 50 weeks of benefits have been paid, the weeks of extended parental benefits will be converted to an equivalent number of weeks that would have been paid at the 55% benefit rate. This conversion will determine how many more weeks of regular benefits and special benefits can be paid to reach the equivalent of 50 weeks paid at the 55% benefits rate. Any weeks where you return to work during this period will be considered weeks paid for the purposes of calculating the equivalent of 50 weeks paid at the 55% benefit rate. Once the number of additional weeks that can be paid is determined, the 52-week benefit period will be extended to allow for the additional weeks to be paid.

It important to note that you can’t receive more than one type of benefit at the same time.

Who can take care of an EI claim on your behalf

If you are unable to manage your own affairs due to health problems, a person other than an Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) employee may be appointed to act on your behalf. In that case, the form Appointment of Representative must be completed and returned with your EI application.

If you are eligible for EI, ESDC will authorize the payment of benefits to the representative acting on your behalf.

Requesting EI payments on behalf of a deceased person

When a person dies, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits payable to that person up to and including the day of the death may be paid to the legal representative Footnote1 , or to a person authorized to inherit property of the deceased person.

If the deceased person had not applied for EI benefits, the legal representative must do the following, in the name of the deceased person, before benefits can be paid:

If the deceased person was receiving EI benefits before death, the legal representative must complete the form Request for Payment of Benefit on Behalf of a Deceased Person to cancel these benefits.

If EI benefits are paid after the death of someone in your family, the legal representative must repay the overpayment by making a cheque or money order to the Receiver General for Canada and sending it to the nearest overpayment recovery office.

What is work sharing?

The EI Work Sharing program assists employers and employees facing lay-offs due to a decline in production. With the work sharing agreement, available work is redistributed through a voluntary reduction in hours worked by all employees within one or more work units. This enables the employer to retain a full work force on a reduced work week, rather than laying off part of his or her work force. Employees are able to remain on the job and maintain skills and working habits and avoid uncertainties and hardship associated with total unemployment.

Money owing

Deductions can never be taken for money owed directly to a person or company. However, deductions can be taken from your EI benefits to repay money you owe, if:

  • you received an overpayment from EI;
  • you received an advance or assistance from the Government of Canada or any of its agencies, a provincial or municipal government, or any other authority and an arrangement has been taken with EI for the deduction. Your consent must be given in writing to the deduction and payment by EI. Example: you received an advance from a Social Services agency while waiting for your EI benefits to start;
  • the Department of Justice issued a court order, according to the Family Orders and Agreements (FOA) Enforcement Assistance Act. Your EI benefits are garnished and forwarded to the Department of Justice that ensures payment to your spouse / dependents, according to the existing court order.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may collect taxes owing according to the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act or other provisions enforced by the CRA. Any taxes owing to federal or provincial governments may be garnished from your EI benefits.

Protecting Employment Insurance — with your help

Service Canada works to protect the EI program from misuse. One of the ways we do this is by working with employers and claimants to ensure the accuracy of the information we receive. With your help, we can reduce the amount of misuse and ensure that the EI program is used as it should be — as a program that provides temporary financial assistance to individuals who qualify.

A mistake is an unintentional act. We know claimants can make mistakes when filing their reports. Common mistakes include:

  • estimating weekly earnings instead of putting in the actual amount earned;
  • declaring net earnings instead of gross earnings;
  • forgetting to declare all the earnings received;
  • writing or entering the wrong number when reporting earnings; or
  • adding the number of hours or amount of earnings incorrectly.

Some mistakes can delay benefit payments, while others can affect the amount of benefits you receive — meaning you were paid more or less than you were entitled to receive.

For example, estimating your earnings can have the following effects:

  • If you estimated your earnings for one week and your estimate was higher than the earnings you actually received, your benefit amount will be less than it should have been. If this happens, let us know and we will adjust your file to make sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
  • If you estimated your earnings for one week and your estimate was lower than the earnings you actually received, your benefit amount will be higher than it should have been. Let us know if this happens. You will have to repay the excess amount, but we will ensure that repaying it causes no undue hardship. As well, we will adjust your file to reflect your accurate information.

If you notice a mistake on a completed form or report, or if there is a change in your circumstances that could affect your EI claim, tell Service Canada immediately. This will help prevent any future problems with your claim.


If you knowingly withhold information, make misleading statements, or misrepresent the facts to make a false claim for benefits, this is considered misrepresentation. You could face severe monetary penalties or prosecution. This could also affect your future benefits. However, if you disclose your actions to Service Canada before an investigation begins, we may waive any monetary penalties and prosecutions that might otherwise apply.

Consequences of misrepresentation

Interest on debt

When EI claimants receive benefits to which they are not entitled, the amount of the overpayment counts as a debt that must be repaid.

Service Canada charges interest on this debt when it results from claimants who knowingly withhold information or make false or misleading representations or statements. However, we do not charge interest on debt that results when Service Canada makes an error in the benefit payment.

The rate of interest is the Bank of Canada average rate plus 3%. Interest is calculated daily and compounded monthly.


A penalty may be imposed on a claimant, an employer, or an individual acting on their behalf in relation to a claim for benefits when he or she has:

  • knowingly made false or misleading representations or statements; or
  • completed a statement without declaring essential information.

Here is an example of a situation where penalties may be imposed:

An EI benefit claimant goes on an ocean cruise for a month and arranges for a friend to conceal their absence by signing and returning two EI claimant reports. As a result, the claimant illegally received $350 in benefits for each of the four weeks of the cruise. After investigation, we find that this was the first time the claimant and the friend had misused the EI system. As well, we find that they both knew that what they did was illegal but they did it anyway.

In this case, the claimant will have to repay $1,400 (four weeks of benefits at $350 per week) and may have to pay a penalty of $700 ($350 for each of the two false reports filed during the holiday). The friend may also have to pay a penalty of $700 for the illegal act of filing two false reports on behalf of the claimant.

There are many situations when a penalty may apply, and the amount could become very high. Depending on the circumstances, the maximum penalty could be up to three times the amount of the overpayment, three times the weekly benefit rate for each incident of misrepresentation, or three times the maximum benefit rate.


Claimants who misuse the EI program and were assessed a violation may need more insurable earnings or hours to qualify for benefits in the future. The required amount rises based on the number and seriousness of misrepresentations that have been recorded in the five-year period before the start of their claims.

Rights and responsibilities

The EI program guarantees certain rights. There are also some basic responsibilities, for both you and Service Canada.

You have the right to:

  • file a claim for EI benefits;
  • receive any benefits that are owing to you;
  • request a reconsideration of any decisions we make about your benefits that you find unsatisfactory;
  • see any government record that contains your personal information; and
  • be served in the official language of your choice.

As a claimant of EI benefits, your responsibilities include:

  • be capable of and available for work and unable to obtain suitable employment;
  • actively search for and accept offers of suitable employment. For further information on what constitutes suitable employment, visit the Employment Insurance section of the Canada.ca website;
  • conduct job search activities that increase your opportunities to find suitable employment, such as:
    • assessing employment opportunities;
    • preparing a résumé or cover letter;
    • registering for job search tools or with electronic job banks or employment agencies;
    • attending job search workshops or job fairs;
    • networking;
    • contacting prospective employers;
    • submitting job applications;
    • attending interviews; – undergoing evaluations of competencies.
  • keep a detailed record as proof of your job search efforts to find suitable employment as we may ask you to provide that proof at any time. Therefore you must keep your job search record for 6 years;
  • you are not required to have employers sign your job search form or provide you with a letter confirming that you have applied for a job;
  • let us know when you refuse any offers of employment;
  • report all periods when you are not available for work;
  • keep your appointments with our office;
  • notify us of any separation from employment and the reasons for the separation;
  • accurately report all periods of incapacity;
  • obtain a medical certificate that confirms the duration of your incapacity;
  • provide all other required information and documents;
  • report any absences from your area of residence and/or any absence from Canada;
  • report all employment, whether you work for someone else or for yourself;
  • accurately report all employment earnings before deductions, in the week(s) in which they were earned, as well as any other monies you may receive.

Your employer

If we decide to pay you benefits even if you quit, were fired for misconduct, refused work, or are involved in a labour dispute, we will notify your employer. If an employer believes that our decision is not justified, he or she can request a reconsideration of that decision.

Service Canada’s responsibilities

At Service Canada, we are responsible for:

  • giving you prompt and courteous service;
  • advising you of the programs and services that are available to you;
  • serving you in the official language of your choice;
  • determining if you are eligible to receive benefits — that is, whether or not you meet the qualifying conditions specified in the Employment Insurance Act and Regulations — and determining how many weeks of benefits you can receive;
  • processing all claims within the same timeframe;
  • issuing your first payment no later than 28 days after the date we receive your application, if you have provided us with all the required information and if you are eligible for benefits;
  • giving you accurate information about your claim, including how you can share parental benefits with your EI-eligible spouse or partner, compassionate care or family caregiver benefits with other EI-eligible family members, and whether or not you will need to serve a one-week waiting period; and
  • letting you know about decisions we’ve made about your claim and explaining the process to follow if you disagree with a decision.

Contacts and other useful information

EI Telephone Information Service

The EI Telephone Information Service is an automated telephone service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you would prefer to speak to a representative, call 1 800 206-7218 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, and press “0.” You can get general information about the EI program, the Social Insurance Number (SIN), and your specific EI claim.

Information about your claim is updated every morning from Monday to Friday. To access information about your EI claim, you will need your SIN and access code, which you will find on the benefit statement that is mailed to you after you apply for EI benefits.

My Service Canada Account

My Service Canada Account allows you to view and update your EI information in one place using a secure website. With My Service Canada Account, you can:

  • confirm any decision made about your EI application
  • view current and past claim messages
  • sign-up for Alert Me to receive email alerts when you have new important EI claim information
  • see details on your payments and deductions
  • sign up for direct deposit
  • view and update your personal information, including your mailing address, telephone number, and banking information for direct deposit
  • view your EI tax information slips
  • view all Records of Employment that your employers have submitted electronically in the last two years
  • view and print your Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions and benefit estimate
  • register to access EI special benefits for self-employed people

How you register for My Service Canada Account

Before you register, you must have your four-digit EI access code (printed in the shaded area at the bottom of your benefit statement). You can then register for My Service Canada Account. It will take about 10 minutes to complete the registration process.

Find other benefits

There may be more for you than EI regular benefits. Use the Benefits Finder to find other Government of Canada, provincial, or territorial benefits.

8. While on EI

If you work while receiving regular benefits and have served your waiting period, you will be able to keep 50 cents of your EI benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90 percent of the weekly insurable earnings used to calculate your EI benefit amount. This 90 percent amount is called the earnings threshold. If you earn any money above this threshold, we will deduct it dollar for dollar from your benefits.

For more information, visit the Working While on Claim page.

When you work and receive benefits at the same time, you must report your work earnings and hours for each week you work, in the week in which the work occurred.

If you receive other payments while receiving EI, some types of earnings will be deducted from your EI benefits, while other types of income have no impact on your EI benefits. You can refer to the earnings chart  to find out if a payment constitutes earnings for benefit purposes and, if so, how those earnings are allocated.


Working While on Claim applies if you are receiving one of the following types of EI benefits:

How working affects your EI benefits

If you earn money while receiving EI benefits, you can keep 50 cents of your benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90 percent of your previous weekly earnings (roughly four and a half days of work). Above this cap, your EI benefits are deducted dollar-for-dollar.

You are not eligible to receive EI benefits if you work a full week, regardles of the amount you earn. However, this will not reduce the total number of weeks payable on your claim.

Example 1

John was laid off when the grocery store where he worked shut down. His weekly earnings at the grocery store were $500, so his weekly EI benefit rate is $275 (55 percent of $500). He has found a part-time job at a restaurant, where he works three days a week and earns $300 per week.

As a result, his $275 in EI benefits are reduced by $150 or 50 cents for every dollar he earns at the restaurant ($300 ÷ 2 = $150). This brings his total EI benefit to $125 ($275 – $150 = $125).

In the end, John takes home $125 per week in EI benefits plus his part-time wages of $300, for a total of $425.

Example 2

Melissa got sick, stopped working to recover from her illness and applied for EI sickness benefits. Her normal weekly earnings were $850, meaning her EI benefit rate would be $468 per week (55 percent of $850).

Melissa was off work for three weeks before her doctor wrote a note saying she could return to work part-time for two weeks, and work full-time after that. Melissa returned to work part-time, working a day and a half per week and earning $260 per week.

In her first week off work, Melissa served her one-week waiting period and was not paid any benefits. During the second and third weeks that she was off work, she received $468 in EI sickness benefits.

For the fourth and fifth weeks, Melissa worked part-time and her benefits were reduced by $130 or 50 cents for every dollar earned ($260 ÷ 2 = $130). This brings her total EI sickness benefits to $338 ($468 – $130 = $338). For the weeks she worked part-time, she took home $338 in EI sickness benefits plus her part-time earnings of $260 for a total of $598.

Melissa is not paid any sickness benefits in the sixth week because she returns to work full-time.

How to get started

Since you are already receiving EI, you do not need to apply for Working While on Claim. You simply need to continue to declare your earnings online.

To view your claim information and payment details, visit your My Service Canada Account.



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