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News   June 3, 2019   by Renee Montague

Canada Training Benefit could be boon or a bust


Providing employees with leave and job protection so they can take training could be a disaster for small businesses, warns the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Dan Kelly said the federal government’s recently announced Canada Training Benefit may be misguided in that it doesn’t take into account the needs of small businesses.

Most notably, he said employers would be required to provide leave and job protection to employees, regardless of the type of training an employee wishes to pursue.

“Providing government funding to allow a worker to study Latin or interpretive dance is one thing, but forcing an employer to hold open a job while they do it is a step too far,” he said.

CFIB does not support the training benefit as it stands, but has suggested some key changes that will make it more palatable to independent shops.

Among the changes, CFIB would like to see:

  • Increase the amount of the EI premium rebate so that employers only pay the employee rate on the first $20,000 of EI premiums paid for all firms, regardless of size.
  • Require a joint application involving both the employer and employee for anyone requesting training that would involve a leave of absence.
  • Suspend the one-week EI waiting period for the benefit so employees can benefit from the EI payment as quickly as possible.
  • Allow employers the option of topping up their employee’s pay during the training period without the employee losing access to their EI benefits.
  • Minimize red tape associated with receiving the employer rebates by automating the process based on the previous year’s tax filings.

“Canada’s skilled labour shortage is getting worse, and small firms are the hardest hit,” said Kelly. “Providing a training benefit to workers is a positive step, but the needs of employers need to be factored into the equation.”

Kelly presented these recommendations and the perspective of CFIB’s members to the Senate of Canada May 29.

www.cfib.ca

 

 


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1 Comment » for Canada Training Benefit could be boon or a bust
  1. George Stringam says:

    This has been a mess for a long time, and I have my doubts that it will ever be fixed. Back when I went through apprenticeship, it was handled by Man Power. I enrolled in school and the checks started coming within three weeks. A bonus was the shop I worked for kept me on the payroll and I just endorsed my Man Power checks and gave them to the shop. I managed to get two guys through apprenticeship the same way. Then Man Power cut everything off and it got turned over to EI. Now the techs had to be LAID OFF, so they could apply for EI. For two of my techs they didn’t receive a plug nickel until they were back to work. Then, to add insult to injury, when the checks started coming in from EI, and they reported that they were back at work, EI not only cut them off but demanded that they pay back what was already given. My dad was ex-navy, and he could really make people blush when he got mad. Dealing with EI soon gave me that same demeanor…

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