Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Helping Families in Need Act Adopted Unanimously by House of Commons

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/20/12 -- The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today marked the unanimous adoption of the Helping Families in Need Act by the House of Commons. The Bill will now be studied by the Senate before receiving Royal Assent, the final step in the legislative process.

"The Harper Government is delivering on its commitment to further support hardworking Canadian families when they need it most," said Minister Finley. "The Helping Families in Need Act will help relieve the financial pressure on families during difficult times and make a real difference in their lives when they most need support."

The Helping Families in Need Act includes a new provision under the Employment Insurance (EI) Act that will make parents eligible for sickness benefits should they fall ill while collecting parental benefits. This new measure will benefit approximately 6000 Canadians per year.

The Bill would also create the new EI benefit for parents of critically ill or injured children and introduces amendments to the Canada Labour Code to protect the jobs of parents who take a leave of absence to care for a critically ill child.

The Bill also proposes amendments to the Canada Labour Code to allow for unpaid leave and to protect the jobs of parents whose child dies or disappears as a result of a probable Criminal Code offence. These amendments support a new federal income support grant for parents who take a leave of absence to cope with such a situation.

These new measures expand on and complement other Harper Government supports for parents:

--  Foster parents who have committed to adopting foster children in their
    care have earlier access to parental benefits. 
--  Self-employed persons can opt into the EI program to receive maternity,
    parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits. 
--  Military families have improved access to EI parental benefits: members
    of the Canadian Forces who are ordered to return to duty while on
    parental leave or whose parental leave is deferred now have a window of
    up to 104 weeks following their child's birth or adoption in which to
    access part or all of their 35 weeks of EI parental benefits. 
--  Eligibility for the compassionate care benefit was extended to include
    additional family members and others considered as "family" by the
    person who is gravely ill. 
--  The Harper Government also provides assistance to parents through the
    Canada Child Tax Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit. 

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

Follow us on Twitter



The Helping Families in Need Act was tabled in the House of Commons on September 20, 2012, by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. This Bill contains legislative amendments to the Employment Insurance (EI) Act and to the Canada Labour Code to support three measures that will help Canadian families balance work and family responsibilities. These measures are enhanced access to sickness benefits for parents receiving EI parental benefits; EI benefits for parents of critically ill children; and the Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children grant.

Enhanced access to EI sickness benefits

The EI Act will be amended to allow claimants who fall ill while receiving EI parental benefits to access EI sickness benefits.

Currently, to be eligible for sickness benefits under the EI program, claimants must "otherwise be available for work," or for self-employed persons, "otherwise be working" and have ceased working because of their illness. People on parental leave from their employer are not considered to be available for work, so they do not qualify for sickness benefits.

Under this Bill, the Government is waiving this requirement for parents receiving EI parental benefits so that they can qualify for sickness benefits if they fall ill, subject to remaining qualifying criteria. This change enhances access to EI sickness benefits and ensures that the EI program continues to be fair and flexible to better respond to the needs of Canadian families.

Sickness benefits (15 weeks maximum) may be paid to a person who is unable to work because of sickness, injury or quarantine.

EI special benefit for parents of critically ill children

This new EI benefit will provide income support for up to 35 weeks to eligible parents caring for a child (under 18 years of age) with a critical illness or injury. The benefit was announced August 7, 2012, and will be available in June 2013, subject to the adoption of this Bill by Parliament.

As with other EI special benefits, claimants will need to have worked a minimum of 600 insurable hours in the last year. Self-employed workers who have opted into the EI program will need to have earned income in the previous calendar year ($6,342 in 2013) to be eligible for the benefit. All applicants will also need to submit a medical certificate signed by a Canadian-certified pediatrician or medical specialist.

This benefit may be shared between parents within a 52-week period. Benefits will end after one of these conditions is reached: the maximum of 35 weeks of benefits have been paid; the 52-week benefit period ends; the child's condition improves to the point where parental care or support for the condition is no longer required; or in the unfortunate event that the child passes away.

Amendments to the Canada Labour Code

Part III of the Canada Labour Code will be amended to introduce new provisions allowing unpaid leave for parents whose child dies or disappears as the result of a probable Criminal Code offence or who need to care for a critically ill child. Employees whose employer is subject to Part III who take advantage of the new enhanced provisions will be able to do so without losing their employment as a result. The amendments to the Canada Labour Code will take effect in June 2013, pending the adoption of this Bill by Parliament.

Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children

Once the amendments proposed in this Bill take effect, a new grant will also be made available, beginning on January 1, 2013. This new grant will provide $350 per week for up to 35 weeks to parents of murdered or missing children (less than 18 years of age) whose death or disappearance is the result of a probable Criminal Code offence.

To receive this taxable grant, announced April 20, 2012, affected parents will need to have earned a minimal level of income in the previous calendar year ($6,500) and take leave from their employment.

If the missing child is found while the grant is being received, the grant will continue for two weeks to allow the parents to spend time with their child. This will be contingent on meeting other entitlement criteria (that is, the recipients have not resumed working, they have not exhausted their benefits, and it has not been more than one year since the disappearance).

Alyson Queen
Office of Minister Finley

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect ...
Recently announced Azure Data Lake addresses the big data 3V challenges; volume, velocity and variety. It is one more storage feature in addition to blobs and SQL Azure database. Azure Data Lake (should have been Azure Data Ocean IMHO) is really omnipotent. Just look at the key capabilities of Azure Data Lake:
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
Scott Guthrie's keynote presentation "Journey to the intelligent cloud" is a must view video. This is from AzureCon 2015, September 29, 2015 I have reproduced some screen shots in case you are unable to view this long video for one reason or another. One of the highlights is 3 datacenters coming on line in India.
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud wit...
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
As the world moves towards more DevOps and microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Raghavan "Rags" Srinivas, an Architect/Developer Evangeli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated a...
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief Architect at CTS, will explore the synergy of Big Data and IoT. First he will take a closer look at the Internet of Things and Big Data individually, in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. Then he will explore the relationship between IoT and Big Data. Specifically, he will drill down to how the 4Vs aspects intersect with IoT: Volume, Variety, Velocity and Value. In turn, Tony will analyze how the key components of IoT ...
DevOps is gaining traction in the federal government – and for good reasons. Heightened user expectations are pushing IT organizations to accelerate application development and support more innovation. At the same time, budgetary constraints require that agencies find ways to decrease the cost of developing, maintaining, and running applications. IT now faces a daunting task: do more and react faster than ever before – all with fewer resources.