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EI (Employment Insurance) discussion thread

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  • Dec 4th, 2016 8:37 pm
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
822 posts
89 upvotes
Mississauga
Hi OP, thanks for opening up this thread!

I recently had a six month contract end, and I am out of work. I definitely have the number of required number of insurable hours needed to apply for EI, and since the reason for the end of employment was "other" (end of contract) I would imagine this makes me eligible since I would have been happy to stay if there was the work (funnily enough so would my employer have, but didn't have any more work for what he brought me in for). My question is whether I am still eligible if I decide to start up a business and find work that way. I expect that if I do this, I won't be making decent money for the first two to three months, and EI would be more than helpful while things get started. If after 3-4 months I haven't seen enough progress, I definite would be looking for employment again anyway.

If EI is unavailable with "full-time" self-employment, what happens if you both spend time looking for work as well as looking for self-employed business? Essentially, the availability of EI benefits will have a fair amount of impact in the decision I make regarding whether I look for self-employed work. Interestingly, this has the potential to be ironic. If self-employment precludes EI benefits it may prevent me from looking for self-employed work, which potentially could be more readily available and/or profitable than employment income.
Jr. Member
Nov 3, 2011
144 posts
27 upvotes
Toronto
b166er1337

Thank you for this opportunity to ask about EI benefits.

I work as an instructor contractually every year at an academic institution. I get a regular paycheque between Sept-June as I teach courses during that time. July and August I get no paycheque (and have no other income--for now).

I have always wondered if I am eligible for EI benefits for June and August?

The problem is this:

I get a ROE every year which states the following:

"FIRST DAY WORKED" as May 01, Year
"LAST DAY FOR WHICH PAID" as April 30, Year+1

So it seems I am under contract (therefore employed) for a complete calendar year, even through I get no paycheque for two months of the year.

I guess the other question is whether I am actively looking for work during these two months. I usually don't because I know that usually I am hired again. But these days money is tight and I should really do something useful that leads to income in those two months.


I have survived this way for a number of years without receiving EI benefits, but I could sure use some extra cash over the two months.

Do you think I have a case to receive EI benefits for these two months?

Thank you again!
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2004
8357 posts
1872 upvotes
Calgary
thedudefromthenorth wrote:
Nov 5th, 2011 2:09 am


• Can I quit, be able to go on medical EI? And after that possibly be able to switch to regular EI?
• Can my employer affect my application for EI, if the ROE doesn't say anything about medical problems, if he denies them and if he says that I am not leaving because of medical reasons?
• What kind of chances do I have to succeed with my application for Medical EI and later switch to regular EI if I can show that I am ready to start looking for a job?
• Could I experience any difficulties with the application process for both medical EI and regular EI? if so what kind of difficulties?


Thank you in advance for your help.

This situation is complicated, so I'll answer it in two parts:

A) Apply for Sickness Benefits, then switch to Regular Benefits:
If you have a medical certificate from a legit source which states you are unavailable for work due to illness/injury, then you are qualified for sickness benefits regardless the reason for separation. For example, one can be fired from job for theft (thus would disqualify him from regular benefits), but if he breaks his leg on his way out, he can still qualify for up to 15 weeks of sickness benefits. One is qualified for sickness benefits as long as they provide proper medical documentation, regardless what the employer said or the RFS.

In your case, if the medical certificate states your incapacity for work, then apply for sickness benefits. When you recover and are ready to work, get another medical certificate which clears you for work. Service Canada will then switch your claim to Regular Benefits. **If the RFS (Box 16 on the ROE) is non contentious, such as A - shortage of work/end of contract, then your claim will be changed seamlessly**
However, if your employer puts E - quit on box 16, then the RFS will be adjudicated accordingly. This is when you will provide the reason why you quit your job.

B) To show just cause for voluntarily leaving your employment:
You actually have a very strong case. You already accumulated a shitload of medical documentation and receipts, as well as a long history of abuse by your manager. Let's build your case from scratch:

Digest 6.8.1 reason 9 Health Adversely Affected–On Doctor's Advice http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... lth_doctor
Raison d'être:
recognizes the right to be absent or to leave employment in the case of illness;

Reference:
EIA 29(c)(iv);

Reasonable Alternative:
speak to the employer;
examine the possibility of being transferred to more suitable employment;
resort to the union;
use the provisions of the collective agreement;
request a leave of absence if the situation is temporary;

Just Cause:
medical documentation on file attesting that it was not reasonable to continue in that state;
no other reasonable alternative to quitting.

Digest 6.5.2 Sexual or Other Harassment http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... tml#a6_5_2
Harassment is generally defined as any improper behaviour by a person that is directed at and offensive to another person and which the first person knew or ought reasonably to have known would be unwelcome. Harassment may take the form of reprehensible comments, actions or displays which humiliate degrade or embarrass another person. Harassment may come from an individual or a group of persons, managers or employees, creating a hostile and poisoned work environment that quickly becomes intolerable.

Harassment also includes abuse of power through the injurious exercise of authority for the purpose of compromising a person's employment, damaging performance at work, endangering means of subsistence or interfering with that person's career in any other way. Acts such as intimidation, threats, blackmail and coercion also constitute a form of harassment.
Digest 6.5.11 Antagonistic Relations between an Employee and a Supervisor http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ml#a6_5_11
Reasonable Alternatives:

report the situation to a higher level;
request a transfer;
contact the union;
use the provisions in the collective agreement;
look for another job.

Just Cause:

indications of constructive dismissal;
situation recurs regularly, not occasionally;
the person himself or herself has not aggravated the situation;
no reasonable alternative but to leave, even without another job;
existing reasonable alternatives failed to remedy the situation.
To summarize, build your case around these 3 factors: a) being harassed by your boss b) antagonistic relationship c)health being negatively affected and urged to quit by your doctor.

ps, if you have any email exchange from your boss that is abusive, print them out and submit them to your local Service Canada Centre. The more documentation you can provide, the better!

edit: go over favorable decisions for antagonistic relations: http://www.ae-ei.gc.ca/eng/board/favour ... lationship
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
Newbie
Nov 4, 2011
3 posts
VANCOUVER
b166er1337 wrote:
Nov 5th, 2011 1:38 pm
This situation is complicated, so I'll answer it in two parts:

A) Apply for Sickness Benefits, then switch to Regular Benefits:
If you have a medical certificate from a legit source which states you are unavailable for work due to illness/injury, then you are qualified for sickness benefits regardless the reason for separation. For example, one can be fired from job for theft (thus would disqualify him from regular benefits), but if he breaks his leg on his way out, he can still qualify for up to 15 weeks of sickness benefits. One is qualified for sickness benefits as long as they provide proper medical documentation, regardless what the employer said or the RFS.

In your case, if the medical certificate states your incapacity for work, then apply for sickness benefits. When you recover and are ready to work, get another medical certificate which clears you for work. Service Canada will then switch your claim to Regular Benefits. **If the RFS (Box 16 on the ROE) is non contentious, such as A - shortage of work/end of contract, then your claim will be changed seamlessly**
However, if your employer puts E - quit on box 16, then the RFS will be adjudicated accordingly. This is when you will provide the reason why you quit your job.

B) To show just cause for voluntarily leaving your employment:
You actually have a very strong case. You already accumulated a shitload of medical documentation and receipts, as well as a long history of abuse by your manager. Let's build your case from scratch:

Digest 6.8.1 reason 9 Health Adversely Affected–On Doctor's Advice http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... lth_doctor




Digest 6.5.2 Sexual or Other Harassment http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... tml#a6_5_2



Digest 6.5.11 Antagonistic Relations between an Employee and a Supervisor http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ml#a6_5_11



To summarize, build your case around these 3 factors: a) being harassed by your boss b) antagonistic relationship c)health being negatively affected and urged to quit by your doctor.

ps, if you have any email exchange from your boss that is abusive, print them out and submit them to your local Service Canada Centre. The more documentation you can provide, the better!

edit: go over favorable decisions for antagonistic relations: http://www.ae-ei.gc.ca/eng/board/favour ... lationship


Thank you so much for clarifying the medical EI option. You've been more helpful that the people at the ministry of labour.

My main concern is the regular EI. It's tough out there. I've been looking for a job since last year and have been unsuccessful. There are no jobs in my field. I do feel I am entitled to regular benefits due to the circumstances and I would love be eligible for regular EI to give myself time to find another job.
I unfortunately don't access to my older emails. I use my own computer at work and have had to replace my computer twice, and because of this I don't have access to older emails. This computer I have is a year old and the email showing his unprofessional are from over a year ago.

The bad thing I see here and this stresses me a lot is that I believe he's been getting ready for like a year to leave as little evidence of this actions and show he is a great employer. He's very sneaky. He abuses and threatens me verbally, over the phone after work, when people are not around, or like a week ago he phoned me to insult me and to tell me he wasn't going to pay me for overtime and ask me not to go to work for 2 days and then tell people in the office that i didn't want to show up or that I am sick … but he no longer does it in ways where there can be proof (printed emails, text messages, etc…). So I can't show emails or anything like that. I feel like the only proof I have is my version of the situation and the medical records (hospitals, therapy, psychiatrists, medication, etc…), and I do have people that know he is abusive and mentally unstable and that he treats me really bad and who have seen the deterioration of my health, like my previous boss and owner and the 2 business partners who left the business, but don't know how comfortable they would be to get involved in this. If their testimony can support my claims whether it is in writing of by phone in a discreet way so that my current boss doesn't find out then I think they wouldn't be opposed to help me. My coworkers or ex-coworkers could help, but for their benefit I don't want them to talk bad about this guy).
The only written record I can think of is one email he sent me and an ex-coworker (we were just 3 people at the company at this moment including him and didn't use aggressive language)… where he attached 2 word documents (employee warning letter, termination of employment) and he asked us to "design them and make them pretty". My ex-coworker was so angry he said to me he wasn't going to dig his own grave and he wasn't going to design this documents, and if he was reminded or forced to do them, that he would quit at that very same moment. I have this email and the 2 word documents. We were both very angry and knew this was a way to intimidate us and to show that he is the man.


My boss on the other hand has access to older emails and pick whatever makes me look bad, his buddy who he just hired doesn't quite like me and will back him up saying that I bring a lot of negativity to the workplace (with my condition I can't really smile, look happy even if I try), and his friend the lawyer will give him advise.


I'm worried because I would end up without any recommendation letter from this job and this is my first and only job in Canada. But then my previous boss and owner who actually hired me, the two ex-business partners and 2 other companies who have worked in partnership with us have offered me recommendation letters and be reference contacts.


With these details, do you think I still have a good case to get regular EI after the medical?
Do you think it's fine if I continue working there now that I have notified him in writing of my leave and that I am expected to finalize my employment in a matter of days? Or do you think I should just go and get the medical EI without honoring the 2 weeks notice we had agreed on? I still have 1.5 weeks left.
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2004
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Bleys007 wrote:
Nov 5th, 2011 12:59 pm
Hi OP, thanks for opening up this thread!

I recently had a six month contract end, and I am out of work. I definitely have the number of required number of insurable hours needed to apply for EI, and since the reason for the end of employment was "other" (end of contract) I would imagine this makes me eligible since I would have been happy to stay if there was the work (funnily enough so would my employer have, but didn't have any more work for what he brought me in for). My question is whether I am still eligible if I decide to start up a business and find work that way. I expect that if I do this, I won't be making decent money for the first two to three months, and EI would be more than helpful while things get started. If after 3-4 months I haven't seen enough progress, I definite would be looking for employment again anyway.

If EI is unavailable with "full-time" self-employment, what happens if you both spend time looking for work as well as looking for self-employed business? Essentially, the availability of EI benefits will have a fair amount of impact in the decision I make regarding whether I look for self-employed work. Interestingly, this has the potential to be ironic. If self-employment precludes EI benefits it may prevent me from looking for self-employed work, which potentially could be more readily available and/or profitable than employment income.

This is an excellent question. First of all, tell your employer to change the RFS (box 16 on the ROE) to A (shortage of work/end of contract) from K (Other). Every application with K on the ROE will NOT be automated. With all the backlogs, it will be ages before you receive your first payment. Very inconvenient for such an insignificant error.

Your will qualify for regular benefits. However, you may be disentitled for (D-1 not unemployed). Keep in mind there is a big different Disqualification and Disentitlement. Disqualification means someone is not qualified in the first place (such as quitting without just cause or dismissed for misconduct). Disentitlement, on the other hand, can be temporary or indefinite (for the duration of the claim). That is, if someone is not available for work or travel outside of Canada for 3 months, he is disentitled for those 3 months. As soon as he becomes available, the disentitlement is terminated and he can start receiving benefits.

In your case, it really depends on what type of self-employment you are looking for. If you are opening a coffee shop and hiring employees, then you are definitely Not Unemployed. On the other hand, if you are a Tradesperson and are looking for contracts, then you are deemed to be unemployed. This is a gray area and without any specifics of your self-employment, this is about as much as I can say. Digest chapter 4 deals specifically for self-employment. http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/digest/chp4.shtml
Also, refer to the jurisprudence with regards to self-employment: http://srv130.services.gc.ca/indexjuris ... employment

For a self employment to be allowed (training and farming also falls in the same category), your involvement has to be deemed minor in extent. That is, your main focus is to look for a full time job and your self-employment/school/farming do not pose restriction on your availability to accept full time employment. The system is not perfect, but EI funds are meant to help individuals to return to employment, not to subsidy their own business, schooling, or travel.

The worst case scenario for you is that your self-employment is deemed Not Minor in Extent, so you will be disentitled for the duration that you are running the business. If you cease the activity and are looking for regular employment, you can start collect EI benefits.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2004
8357 posts
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Calgary
yyztoronto416 wrote:
Nov 5th, 2011 1:24 pm
b166er1337

Thank you for this opportunity to ask about EI benefits.

I work as an instructor contractually every year at an academic institution. I get a regular paycheque between Sept-June as I teach courses during that time. July and August I get no paycheque (and have no other income--for now).

I have always wondered if I am eligible for EI benefits for June and August?

The problem is this:

I get a ROE every year which states the following:

"FIRST DAY WORKED" as May 01, Year
"LAST DAY FOR WHICH PAID" as April 30, Year+1

So it seems I am under contract (therefore employed) for a complete calendar year, even through I get no paycheque for two months of the year.

I guess the other question is whether I am actively looking for work during these two months. I usually don't because I know that usually I am hired again. But these days money is tight and I should really do something useful that leads to income in those two months.


I have survived this way for a number of years without receiving EI benefits, but I could sure use some extra cash over the two months.

Do you think I have a case to receive EI benefits for these two months?

Thank you again!

Your claim is school related. Ask your employer to amend your ROE. ROE should be issued within 5 days of your last pay period ending date. Also, many school-related claims file application during the Christmas Break (as you are not working and not receiving money). They will serve their waiting period during the winter break and file for renewal once school is closed for the summer.

Keep in mind, you may be required to provide job search proofs. Without any proof, you will be disentitled.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
Newbie
Nov 8, 2011
1 posts
COQUITLAM
So I have a bit of a tricky situation. About 3 years ago I was laid off from my work, I went onto sick leave/medical leave for 3 months. I did not end up collecting any regular EI benefits nor did I work after this period, at the time I was taking care of my mother who was quite sick and receiving CPP benefits only. Now that she has recovered I am looking for work. It has now been 2.5 years since the end of the sick leave and I am wondering if there is any way to get back onto the EI benefits as I did not claim them in the first place. I am having difficulty looking for work now partially due to my disability and lack of work experience, and have been looking into going back to school to complete the Early Childhood Education course, hoping that if approved they will give me something towards living costs.

I have read that EI claims expire after 52 weeks, but the BCEP has a reachback for claims in the past 3 years. Is there any way to get my EI claim reactivated to help me through this period - whether it be looking for work or going back to school?

Thanks so much!
Newbie
Nov 25, 2009
35 posts
3 upvotes
BC
Unbelievable that they did not renew your contract b166er1337. You obviously know your job and they need agents more than ever now.

The pending workload seems worse than the peak of the financial crisis. I think this is the new normal for the near future.

A friend of mine who was let go called applied for EI and and had to instruct the agent on how to fix issues/complete the claim.

It's still way overdue.
Member
Oct 10, 2011
396 posts
69 upvotes
WINNIPEG
b166er1337 wrote:
Oct 12th, 2011 4:44 pm
As a formal Service Canada Payment Service Officer and Benefits Officer of several years, I know pretty much about everything regarding Regular EI Benefits. Since there are numerous EI-related threads on RFD, I feel there should be a centralized thread to discuss all things EI related. Feel free to ask about Special Benefits as well; I will do my best to answer all questions.

Of course, questions about how to cheat the system will be ignored. Ask away.

Useful links for EI Benefits:
1) EI Digest: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... ents.shtml
2) Appeal decisions favorable to claimants: http://www.ae-ei.gc.ca/eng/board/favour ... _toc.shtml
3) Jurisprudence Index: http://srv130.services.gc.ca/indexjuris ... /case.aspx

update 1: all the links and information provided can be found on Service Canada website and they are publicly accessible.

update 2: links updated
I appologize first off I did not read the whole thread, but this is MY question. lol

I had to quit my 40hr a week job to accept a job as a Letter Carrier (temp on call, way more $$$), the training was to be 2-3 weeks and how could one do both. NOW that training is over I have not been scheduled work, UGH. My ROE is coming from my former employer and I have now requested one from Cpost. Will I get EI when I am not working for CPOST?? I have worked for 19yrs straight, never once on EI and always 40hrs/week.

Thanks in advance for your input.

fredsub12~
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2004
8357 posts
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Calgary
sixvicious wrote:
Nov 9th, 2011 10:02 pm
Unbelievable that they did not renew your contract b166er1337. You obviously know your job and they need agents more than ever now.

The pending workload seems worse than the peak of the financial crisis. I think this is the new normal for the near future.

A friend of mine who was let go called applied for EI and and had to instruct the agent on how to fix issues/complete the claim.

It's still way overdue.

The funny thing is that performance/merit has no impact on whether one keeps their job at Service Canada. If you are a term employee, your days are pretty much numbered. The organization is ran by political zealots at the highest level. They only care about budget cuts, but have a total disregard of Service Canada's service level.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2004
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Laney99 wrote:
Nov 9th, 2011 6:27 pm
So I have a bit of a tricky situation. About 3 years ago I was laid off from my work, I went onto sick leave/medical leave for 3 months. I did not end up collecting any regular EI benefits nor did I work after this period, at the time I was taking care of my mother who was quite sick and receiving CPP benefits only. Now that she has recovered I am looking for work. It has now been 2.5 years since the end of the sick leave and I am wondering if there is any way to get back onto the EI benefits as I did not claim them in the first place. I am having difficulty looking for work now partially due to my disability and lack of work experience, and have been looking into going back to school to complete the Early Childhood Education course, hoping that if approved they will give me something towards living costs.

I have read that EI claims expire after 52 weeks, but the BCEP has a reachback for claims in the past 3 years. Is there any way to get my EI claim reactivated to help me through this period - whether it be looking for work or going back to school?

Thanks so much!

Sorry no. Typically the Qualifying Period (QP) is 52 weeks prior to your BPC (Benefit Period Commencement). In rare cases the QP can be extended for up to another 52 weeks (such as if one is incarcerated, or hospitalized). So going back 104 weeks (2 years) is the maximum.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
[OP]
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Sep 21, 2004
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fredsub12 wrote:
Nov 10th, 2011 9:40 am
I appologize first off I did not read the whole thread, but this is MY question. lol

I had to quit my 40hr a week job to accept a job as a Letter Carrier (temp on call, way more $$$), the training was to be 2-3 weeks and how could one do both. NOW that training is over I have not been scheduled work, UGH. My ROE is coming from my former employer and I have now requested one from Cpost. Will I get EI when I am not working for CPOST?? I have worked for 19yrs straight, never once on EI and always 40hrs/week.

Thanks in advance for your input.

fredsub12~

This is one of those cases that can go either way depending on how you present your case.

Refer specifically to Digest 6.5.7.2 Leaving Permanent Employment for Temporary/Seasonal Employment: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/d ... l#a6_5_7_2
As well as http://srv130.services.gc.ca/indexjuris ... =on%20call and http://srv130.services.gc.ca/indexjuris ... =temporary
Summary
Reasonable Assurance of Another Employment in the Immediate Future

Reasonable Alternatives:
try to withdraw the resignation or get the old job back.

Just Cause:

genuine promise of other employment in the immediate future;
not obtained for reasons beyond the person's control;
new employment would not have created an unemployment situation (full-time vs. part-time or on-call, permanent vs. temporary);
At first glance, it may seem that you do not have just cause as your quit a full time job to be on-call.

However, the new job pays much more and offer you a chance to advance your career. Digest 6.5.7.2 also says
Once more, the importance of fact finding is raised. This process should clarify the circumstances that led a person to leave their permanent employment for a temporary or part-time employment. Reasons may include:

- The new employment was seen by the claimant as a way to get out of an employment that was poorly paid or had poor working conditions with no opportunity for promotion or a better position;
- The new employment was more advantageous in terms of wages or working conditions when compared with the permanent or full-time employment;
- The new employment was with a well established and recognized employer within a field of activities that presented career opportunities, good possibilities to apply for another position once there or be extended or rehired shortly.
In your case, 1) you worked for previous employer for many years without the opportunity to be promoted 2) the new job has much higher wage and better working condition, and 3) Canada Post is a very well established and recognized employer.

These three factors should help your case immensely. Again, your scenario is in the grey area so there is no knowing what the decision will be.
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Member
Oct 10, 2011
396 posts
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WINNIPEG
What do u think of this argument;

1. left for a higher wage, no chance to move up at current job
2. left as i have spent the last 20mths working 12hr midnight shifts which are physically and mentally very diufficult
3. Canada Post is one of the best jobs/benefits/pension in the Country

????
Member
Jan 9, 2011
334 posts
28 upvotes
Thank you for starting this thread.

I have a couple questions:

1) I recently got laid off (3 weeks ago today) from my job, I got a 6 week severance and the day of I went home and immediately applied for EI. I've gotten my code and already filled out my first report last week and there's another one due tomorrow. Because I got 6 weeks severance, will my EI not start until 6 weeks or should I expect it to begin shortly?


2) There's a lot of contract work out there however I'm scared to do it because I'm not sure what happens with EI afterwards, can I apply after I work lets say a 3 month contract? How is EI viewed after that work?


Thanks for any help! ;)
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fredsub12 wrote:
Nov 10th, 2011 1:59 pm
What do u think of this argument;

1. left for a higher wage, no chance to move up at current job
2. left as i have spent the last 20mths working 12hr midnight shifts which are physically and mentally very diufficult
3. Canada Post is one of the best jobs/benefits/pension in the Country

????

That sounds good. Be specific that you are at the previous employer for x number of years and it's a dead-end job. The job with Canada Post offers you a chance to advance your career and has much higher wage and better working condition.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
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