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

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This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on August 15, 2022.



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

Ensure that you are working with the most recent version of the Act. The legislation can also be found online at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/index.html

B. Carswell’s Annotated Employment Insurance Statutes

Lavender, T.S., Carswell (2010-).

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 at http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/ei/index.shtml 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 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 located at www.ei-ae.gc.ca/en/library/search.shtml.

NOTE: The Umpires were the highest level of appeal in the EI system before being replaced by the appeal division of the SST. Canadian Umpire Benefit (CUB) decisions are decisions made by the Umpire.

CanLII has a database of SST decisions located at http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/sst/.

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 of writing, this section was last updated in September 2012. More information and a link to the database can be found at https://www.ei.gc.ca/eng/board/favourable_jurisprudence/favourable_decisions_toc.shtml

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 http://cas-cdc-www02.cas-satj.gc.ca/portal/page/portal/tcc-cci_Eng/Search. 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 http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/digest/table_of_contents.shtml

F. Employment and Social Development Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) maintains an extensive web site with many tools, which is located at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development.html.

For general information regarding EI claims contact:

Vancouver Service Canada Centre
1263 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
Telephone: 1-800-622-6232


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