EI NEWS: Canadian Government Needs to Maintain Current Employment Insurance Rate for 2023 or Cost for Employers and Employees will be Unsustainable

The Surrey Board of Trade is concerned about the 2023 Employment Insurance (EI) Premium Rate increase, set to possibly take effect tomorrow, September 30.

“This EI rate increase will cost businesses who are already facing significant bottom-line erosion,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “This increase to EI premiums comes at a time when most businesses are still struggling to resume normal business operations while in a steep inflationary period. It is not feasible for employers, who pay a disproportionate amount, to pay off the pandemic deficit through increased premiums.”

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) made available the Actuarial Report and its summary for the 2023 Employment Insurance premium rate. The rate is set at $1.63 per $100 of insurable earnings for employees and $2.28 for employers who pay 1.4 times the employee rate.

September 30 is an important day. As per the Employment Insurance Act, on the joint recommendation of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and the Minister of Finance, the Governor in Council may, if it considers it to be in the public interest, on or before September 30 in a year, “substitute a premium rate for the following year that is different from the one set by the Commission.”

The Surrey Board of Trade understands the goals of the reform. The Federal Government wants to improve the system, increase EI payouts, expand secondary benefits such as training, extend benefits to previously unserved groups, such as gig workers, and ensure the system is financially stable. However, expanding the EI program to deliver more benefits than the system currently does will cost significantly more, funded by the contributions of employers and employees. Workers and businesses will be asked to contribute even more to the EI system at a very challenging economic time.

Continuous expansion of the EI system is not sustainable for businesses and workers.

“Surrey, for example, has the greatest number of manufacturers in BC. Nationally, this new proposal will cost the manufacturing industry upward of $500 million in additional EI payments each year. Given the challenges manufacturers are facing with supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, rising inflation and geopolitical uncertainty, this is not acceptable.”

The rate will be finalized by the Governor in Council on September 30, 2022.

Commission’s Summary of the 2023 Actuarial Report on the Employment Insurance Premium Rate
Summary of the 2023 Actuarial Report on the Employment Insurance Premium Rate –

OSFI Actuarial Report on the 2023 EI Premium Rate
2023 Actuarial Report on the Employment Insurance Premium Rate