Parents returning from parental leave stranded to collect employment insurance

A text by Catherine bouchard

Laurence Lévesque lost her restaurant job in October, with the new confinement. The woman from Sorel-Tracy then applied for unemployment. After several weeks of waiting, his case did not seem to progress, while his colleagues had quickly received their benefits.

After several calls and reminders, there was an EI employee who clicked and realized that my problem was probably that I had received [de l’argent du] RQAP , says Ms. Lévesque.

Laurence Lévesque had to take many steps to finally get the employment insurance to which she was entitled.

Photo: Radio-Canada

The mother received QPIP benefits for her maternity leave, which ended in November 2019. She has, however, worked the number of hours required to be entitled to employment insurance since her return to work.

With children aged 2 and 3 and only one salary, financial stress weighed on Laurence Lévesque.

You can live on the credit card, but while you don’t get money, who pays the interest? It’s us! I managed to live on my savings, but not knowing when it was really going to settle. I won’t hide that the nerves have started to embark , she says.

Her setbacks come immediately after her spouse has been the victim of fraud. A usurper applied for the Canada Emergency Benefit (CEP) on his behalf, although he had never requested it himself.

It’s quite special to live under the same roof as someone who has been defrauded of $ 10,000 when I have a hard time having a few hundred dollars owed to me, laments Laurence Lévesque.

After long hours on the phone and weeks of waiting, she decided to call her MP, Louis Plamondon. She finally received her benefits on December 23, after two and a half months of waiting.

A situation that is not unique

Laurence Lévesque is far from being the only one in her situation. With the pandemic, many Quebec parents were no longer working when their parental leave ended.

The employment insurance program takes into account the number of hours worked in the last year and that is where the problem lies. The situation is unique in Quebec, because it is the only province with one year parental insurance.

Unemployment told us: ” we are waiting for directives from Ottawa. You are outside the norm, because it is unique in Quebec. It made a special decision. Finally, it was settled, but I still have a case that does not unlock, mentions Louis Plamondon, the member for Bécancour — Nicolet — Saurel.

The office of the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labor, Carla Qualtrough, points out that workers who do not meet the criteria for Employment Insurance may be entitled to the Canada Benefit economic recovery (PCRE).

For the issues of employment insurance and QPIP after pandemic, Ottawa emphasizes that it is too early to look into the post-pandemic.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.