Rob Moore, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and CREA CEO Pierre Beauchamp announced at a news conference recently that self-employed Realtors can now participate in the Employment Insurance (EI) program.
“A large majority of Realtors are self-employed,” says Beauchamp. “By creating a level playing field within the EI program, many of our members will no longer have to worry about taking time away from their careers to have a baby or care for a family member who is gravely ill.”
Bill C-56, the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act, extends EI benefits for self-employed Realtors for:
- maternity benefits (15 weeks maximum), which are available to mothers and cover the period surrounding birth (a claim can start up to eight weeks before the expected birth date);
- parental/adoptive benefits (35 weeks maximum), which are available to biological or adoptive parents while they are caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, and may be taken by either parent or shared between them;
- sickness benefits (15 weeks maximum), which may be paid to a person who is unable to work because of sickness, injury or quarantine; and
- compassionate care benefits (six weeks maximum), which may be paid to people who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill with a significant risk of death.
Self-employed Canadians who voluntarily opt in to the EI program are eligible to collect benefits as early as January 1, 2011.
“It’s nice to know that Realtors now have the choice to balance career and family along with other working Canadians,” says Bruce Mullett, chair of CREA’s Federal Affairs Committee.
Realtors who opt in to the program will pay the same EI premium rate as salaried employees in their province. They will not be required to pay the employer portion of premiums, which takes into account the fact they will not have access to EI regular benefits. Premiums, and resulting benefits, will be based on income.
Posted: 2010-02-23 07:35:27
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