WestViking wrote:I have never been able to figure out why an employer has to pay EI premiums for the employees he hires.
EI premiums are high enough, but the employer has to match the premium his employee pays and add another 40% for the privilege of providing employment. It would be better if the employer was allowed to use those premiums to increase wages or to hire more people.
I also fail to understand why seasonal workers and year round employees pay the same EI rate. Why do a government office worker and a lobster fisherman pay the same EI premium rate?
"Employer contributions" are one of the ways government hide the full magnitude of how much they are being, well, taxed. I think they should change the law and simply make employers show these contributions as part of employee compensation, that is immediately stuffed away in government coffers. For anyone making just over $40k a year, you would see your paycheque increase by about $3k while your takehome stays the same. With that honesty in reporting people might be open to the idea of scrapping EI and CPP and simply give it to people to put in their RSP or TFSA.
EI rates are the same but they tie the qualification for benefits, and the length of benefits themselves to the prevailing, local unemployment rate. Having said that, the level of your benefits are tied to how much work you did in the last year. You can't simply work 9 weeks or whatever it is and then get the full benefits.
The thing is, EI has simply become another social program that makes inter-regional transfers of money from place with low unemployment to those with high unemployment. Plus, throwing in disability, maternal leave, and a bunch of other things was done to make it a social engineering program.
As far as temporary foreign workers are concerned, a buddy of mine is a crown attorney in Vancouver in one of the biggest EI scams around (one or two hundred people). BC based Indian fruit growers would get people from India to come to Canada and get them to work for free, and then doctor all their employment records so they could get the maximum EI payments (a year at about $23k, which is a mint for some peasant in the Punjab). This new policy would cut down on those sorts of abuses to an extent.