Can I Get EI If I Quit My Job?achkarlaw-admin
The Canadian government offers regular employment insurance benefits, better known as EI, to people who are out of work. EI in Ontario provides temporary payments to people who meet certain conditions. But what happens to employment insurance when you quit? If you were terminated from your job with cause, or if you quit your job, you are generally not entitled to EI benefits.
Conditions to Qualify for EI (Employment Insurance)
To be eligible for EI in Ontario, you must meet certain conditions, which are outlined in the Employment Insurance Act. Some of these conditions are expanded on below.
- You have paid into the EI program while you were employed. If you are unsure whether you did so, check if your employer deducted an EI amount from your pay cheques.
- You must have worked at least the number of qualifying hours, depending on the region you are located. The Government of Canada website can help you determine the EI program characteristics for your region, for a certain time period.
- You must be without pay for at least seven days to qualify for EI in Ontario.
Other conditions can also impact whether you qualify, such as whether you are ready, willing, and capable of working each day and whether you are actively seeking work.
Ontario Employment Standard’s Act, 2000
It is important to know that there are different types of EI benefits and leaves offered. As such, there are various eligibility requirements when applying for sickness benefits, maternity and parental benefits, caregiving benefits and leave, among others.
Can I Get EI If I Quit My Job?
The answer is “maybe.” In Ontario, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits if you quit your job under certain circumstances. Generally, if you voluntarily quit your job without just cause, you may not be eligible for EI benefits. However, there are exceptions where you could still be considered eligible, such as if you quit due to health reasons or if your work conditions became unsafe or unbearable. These are known as “just cause.”
What Is “Just Cause” in Quitting?
“Just cause” for quitting refers to situations in which an individual voluntarily leaves their job, but their decision is considered valid and acceptable for the purpose of qualifying for certain employment-related benefits, such as Employment Insurance (EI). These situations involve compelling reasons that are beyond the individual’s control and can justify leaving a job without losing access to benefits.
In the context of EI eligibility in Ontario and Canada, “just cause” for quitting generally includes circumstances such as:
- Health Reasons: If the work environment or job responsibilities have a negative impact on your physical or mental health and your employer cannot provide reasonable accommodations.
- Harassment and Discrimination: If you are subjected to harassment, discrimination, or other forms of mistreatment that create an intolerable work environment.
- Unsafe Work Conditions: If your workplace is unsafe and your employer fails to address the safety concerns adequately.
- Significant Changes in Employment Terms: If your employer makes significant changes to your job that have a detrimental impact on your work-life balance, pay, or job responsibilities. This is known as constructive dismissal.
- Domestic Circumstances: If you need to leave your job to care for a family member with a serious medical condition, and your employer cannot accommodate your situation.
It’s important to understand that whether a specific reason qualifies as “just cause” can depend on various factors, including the severity of the situation, efforts made to address the issue, and the specific regulations set by the relevant government agencies.
When considering quitting your job and claiming benefits like EI, it’s crucial to gather documentation, evidence, and relevant information that can support your case. Additionally, it’s recommended to reach out to an employment lawyer to get accurate and up-to-date information about EI eligibility criteria in Ontario and how “just cause” is defined within the context of quitting a job.
Contact Achkar Law
If you are an employer and are facing a constructive dismissal claim, or an employee who has involuntarily resigned, our team of experienced workplace lawyers at Achkar Law can help.
Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected] and we would be happy to assist.
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