Welcome!

News Feed Item

Helping Families in Need Act Receives Royal Assent

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/14/12 -- The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, is pleased to announce that the Helping Families in Need Act has received Royal Assent.

"Through the Helping Families in Need Act, we are supporting hardworking Canadian families when they need it most," said Minister Finley. "These new support measures will help relieve the financial pressure on families during difficult times and make a real difference in their lives when they most need it."

The Helping Families in Need Act includes a new provision under the Employment Insurance Act that will make parents eligible for sickness benefits should they fall ill while collecting parental benefits. This new measure will benefit approximately 6 000 Canadians per year.

The Bill also creates the new Employment Insurance (EI) benefit for parents of critically ill or injured children and amends the Canada Labour Code to protect the jobs of parents who take a leave of absence to care for a critically ill child.

Finally, the Bill also amends 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 Government of Canada 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 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

IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

Backgrounder

The Helping Families in Need Act was introduced in the House of Commons on September 20, 2012, by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. It received Royal Assent on December 14, 2012.

This Act contains legislative amendments to the Employment Insurance 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 Employment Insurance (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 Employment Insurance Act is 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 starting in June 2013.

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 on January 1, 2013 for parents of murdered or missing children, and in June 2013 for parents of critically ill children.

Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children

Effective January 1, 2013, a new grant will provide $350 per week of income support 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).

Contacts:
Marian Ngo
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559

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
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
Unless you don’t use the internet, don’t live in California, or haven’t been paying attention to the recent news… you should be aware that self-driving cars are on their way to becoming a reality. I have seen them – they are real. If you believe in the future reality of self-driving cars, then continue reading on. If you don’t believe in the future possibilities, then I am not sure what to do to convince you other than discuss the very real changes that will roll out with the consumer producti...
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...