Governing Legislation, Policy, and Resources for Employment Insurance (8:II)

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

A. Employment Insurance Act, 1996, c 23 and Regulations

Ensure that you are working with the most recent version of the Act. The legislation is published in the CCH Labour Law Reporter and the Employment Insurance Regulations, SOR/96-332 P.C. 1996-1056 28 June, 1996 (EI Regulations) are updated by publications in the Canada Gazette. The legislation can also be found online at:

The SST website also provides a list of common issues and their reference to relevant legislation:

  1. Earnings and allocation of earnings (Employment Insurance Regulations - sections 35 and 36)
  2. Hours of insurable employment (Employment Insurance Act - section 7)
  3. Interruption of earnings (Employment Insurance Act - section 7; Employment Insurance Regulations - section 14)
  4. Late initial claims/antedate (Employment Insurance Act - subsection 10(4))
  5. Maximum number of weeks of benefits (Employment Insurance Act - section 12)
  6. Misconduct (Employment Insurance Act - sections 29 and 30)
  7. Outside of Canada (Employment Insurance Act - section 37; Employment Insurance Regulations - section 55)
  8. Penalties (Employment Insurance Act - sections 38 and 39)
  9. Rate of weekly benefits (Employment Insurance Act - section 14; Employment Insurance Regulations - section 23)
  10. Violations (Employment Insurance Act - section 7.1)
  11. Voluntarily leaving (Employment Insurance Act - sections 29 and 30)
  12. Week of unemployment (Employment Insurance Act - section 11; Employment Insurance Regulations - sections 29 to 31)
  13. Availability for work (Employment Insurance Act - section 18; Employment Insurance Regulations - sections 9.001-9.004)

B. Carswell’s Annotated Employment Insurance Statutes

Lavender, T.S., Carswell (20010-). Updated every year, Carswell’s Annotated Employment Insurance Statutes is an excellent tool for detailed legal research. It contains the entire EI Act and Regulations, with extensive annotations after each provision describing the history of the section, and the decisions interpreting and applying it.

C. EI Jurisprudence Online

The EI homepage has links to legislation, a jurisprudence library, and to the SST and Umpires sections. This site is a good place to start, though one should be aware that that certain sections may be dated or not have the information most useful to building a good case for a claimant. The Jurisprudence Library has decisions by the Umpires, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. These decisions can be searched via a [ search engine].

Canlii has a database of SST decisions.

A very useful resource can be found in the "Employment Insurance Appeal Decisions Favourable to Workers" decisions database. The database makes available a collection of Employment Insurance jurisprudence where decisions were favourable to workers. One should be aware, however, that this section has not been updated to reflect some recent rulings favourable to workers. At the time ofwriting, this section was last updated in September 2012. More information and a link to the database can be found at:

NOTE: According to the SST website, the SST is not legally bound to follow its own decisions or those of the “legacy tribunals” (Board of Referees, Umpires). A prior decision may beat most persuasive, especially where the facts are similar. The tribunal must however follow rulings of the Federal Court, Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

D. Tax Court Decisions

There is a separate site for Tax Court decisions (on insurability issues, etc.). The search page is located at: Searches can be limited to UI and EI decisions.

E. Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles

This two-volume policy manual is published by the Commission and is amended periodically. It contains a summary of general law and policy for each subject matter, with references to the relevant sections of the EI Act and Regulations and refers to many decisions of the Umpires and Federal Court. However, it is written by the Commission, and many chapters do not accurately describe the cases. It must therefore be used with caution, and not as the sole reference. However, the online version is the most reliable source; few printed versions are fully up to date. The manual can be found online at: here

F. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada maintains an extensive web site with many tools, which is located at

For general information regarding EI claims contact:

Vancouver Service Canada Centre
1263 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
Toll-free: 1-800-206-7218
This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on July 15, 2019.
© Copyright 2017, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.

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