I would like to thank Canada Life for providing the following synopsis of the Federal Budget. There are a couple areas that could affect your Employee Benefit Program and your Premium. These are the two areas I thought were worth mentioning:
- Extend Employment Insurance sickness benefit – To better support Canadians suffering from illness or injury, the budget proposes amendments to the Employment Insurance Act to extend the maximum duration of Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefit from 15 weeks to 26 weeks.
- How will the Federal Government extending the Sickness Benefit through EI affect the Employer and Employee? It will mean that you can change your Elimination Period from 16 or 17 weeks to 26 or 27 weeks. This will provide savings to your Long Term Disability (LTD) rates. However, it will mean your employees will have to live on the benefit through EI for an additional 9 weeks. Most LTD benefits are more reflective of an employee’s actual earnings, unlike EI benefits.
- Improve the Employment Insurance Premium Reduction Program – The government plans to launch consultations with employers, labour organizations and private insurers about improvements that may be required to the Employment Insurance Premium Reduction Program. Under the Premium Reduction Program, employers who provide short-term disability plans to their employees can obtain a reduction in EI premiums.
- Will it affect Employers who Self Insure or purchase Short Term Disability (STD) from an Insurance Company? In order to receive the reduction in premium from EI, the benefits must meet or exceed what an employee can receive through EI. This will mean your premium for either Self Insuring or STD through the Insurance Company will increase. Anyone who offers their employees this benefit knows that the EI Reduction in premium does not even come close to the cost of providing STD benefits to their employees.
I will continue to watch this so we can be on top of any changes we need to make to your STD or LTD benefits and premium.
In the meantime, please contact Glendinning Insurance Services if you would like to review this Blog or any other areas of your benefit plan. (250) 764-0142
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