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EI (Employment Insurance) discussion thread

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Newbie
May 23, 2013
6 posts
Hello,
I hope someone can help me with my questions.
I am an occasional teacher and I also work at a part time grocery store. I have been collecting EI benefits to supplement the lack of hours. I requested a leave of absence for one month from my grocery store job so that I could take an Additional Qualifications course (for teaching) out of town. I was denied the leave. I was told by HR that they couldn't give me the leave because I was taking a course to better my chances of getting a job somewhere else. My collective agreement states that any part time employee may ask for a leave of absence for educational purposes if registered at a college or university out of town. When I explained this to HR they gave me the run-around saying that the agreement had grey areas, and I was not a full time student, and again, that I was bettering my chances of getting a job with the school board. Which is OBVIOUSLY my ultimate goal! She then told me that they already have their maximum allowances of leaves for education purposes.
I would still like to take this course, being that I have already paid for it and it will help me obtain full time employment in the future (I do not currently have an offer). So with my leave denied, I would need to voluntarily quit, and therefore, lose my entitlement for EI benefits.
I contacted my old employer from years back (another grocery store) who said they will hire me back upon return of my course. I will still be working part time and be available for teaching calls as well.

My question is, if I quit my current employment with grocery store A, and give the reason that I have assurance of another employment (grocery store B), will that affect my EI benefits? Would it be best if I get hired back with grocery store B before my course starts, knowing that they will grant me the leave, and therefore, still be able to collect EI? Or will the fact that I left grocery store A impact my entitlement?

What is the best route to go with this?
Sr. Member
May 22, 2012
870 posts
72 upvotes
MONTR
Yes but the industry I work in is much bigger in Quebec. I can't work anywhere else in AB because that was the pretty much only company there, simply because that's where the owners wanted to start the company, not for strategical reasons.

So IMO it doesn't make sense to use general unemployment rate as an indication. Also I moved 2 months later, so it wasn't planned to game the system. In fact when I filed my claim, the agent on the phone said I would be paid less in Quebec than in AB every 2 weeks.
[OP]
Moderator
User avatar
Sep 21, 2004
10451 posts
4735 upvotes
Calgary
lachdanan wrote: EDIT: Although when I opened my claim, I was in AB, which seems to have less than 5%. Is this why? But I didn't get paid several months after I moved to Quebec. Should they not account for this since my address is up to date on my account?
That's it. When you applied, you supplied an Alberta address, and that's why you only get 36 weeks.

Your claim is already established, you just didn't get paid immediately due to allocation of severance.
[OP]
Moderator
User avatar
Sep 21, 2004
10451 posts
4735 upvotes
Calgary
queerasmoi wrote: That would explain it. Of course this table is newer than the one that was used when you made your claim, so you really need to look for the stats from the week your claim effectively began. I would think if you were last employed in Alberta then EI is using AB to calculate your EI. It wouldn't make sense to give claimants more weeks of benefits for moving back to an area with higher unemployment after they're laid off (consider the implications).

(Experts, any corrections to this?)
It doesn't matter where you last worked; it matters where you live when you apply. Of course, if anyone is smart, he already notices the loophole in the system.
Sr. Member
May 22, 2012
870 posts
72 upvotes
MONTR
Thanks b166. Should I have applied after I moved? I applied right away because I thought there was a deadline. How long can we wait till you apply? I guess the best thing was not to apply till you become payable based on your severance then apply?

I think the system as is punishes people who are genuinely looking for work though. Because like you said someone smart would use the loophole to get more money, but not to get a job faster.
[OP]
Moderator
User avatar
Sep 21, 2004
10451 posts
4735 upvotes
Calgary
cbikeo wrote: My question is, if I quit my current employment with grocery store A, and give the reason that I have assurance of another employment (grocery store B), will that affect my EI benefits? Would it be best if I get hired back with grocery store B before my course starts, knowing that they will grant me the leave, and therefore, still be able to collect EI? Or will the fact that I left grocery store A impact my entitlement?

What is the best route to go with this?
When you quit, make sure you have written offer from company B. If I were you, I would not mention the reason you quit is due to taking a training program (that's personal choice, and not just cause). If an agent asks why there is an one-month gap, just tell them you wanted to take some time off (and therefore not available for work during this time), but you only did so after securing a job offer from company B. It's much more likely to be allowed, and when you start with company B, you can go back to EI.

I assume you are on EI now; when you file your reports, you should declare you are not available for work while taking the training course.
[OP]
Moderator
User avatar
Sep 21, 2004
10451 posts
4735 upvotes
Calgary
lachdanan wrote: Thanks b166. Should I have applied after I moved? I applied right away because I thought there was a deadline. How long can we wait till you apply? I guess the best thing was not to apply till you become payable based on your severance then apply?

I think the system as is punishes people who are genuinely looking for work though. Because like you said someone smart would use the loophole to get more money, but not to get a job faster.
Here is the thing. You should apply right away (within 4 weeks of last day of employment).

Think it this way, if you apply after your 6-month severance runs out, EI only count the # of insurable hours in the last 52 weeks. You are already 26 weeks late and only have insurance hours from 26 weeks. Your entitlement would be drastically less.
Newbie
May 23, 2013
6 posts
b166er1337 wrote: When you quit, make sure you have written offer from company B. If I were you, I would not mention the reason you quit is due to taking a training program (that's personal choice, and not just cause). If an agent asks why there is an one-month gap, just tell them you wanted to take some time off (and therefore not available for work during this time), but you only did so after securing a job offer from company B. It's much more likely to be allowed, and when you start with company B, you can go back to EI.

I assume you are on EI now; when you file your reports, you should declare you are not available for work while taking the training course.
Thank you very much for your quick reply.
My current claim ends the last week of June, with my course starting at the same time. Should I let my claim end, complete my course, and then reapply for a new claim once the course is over? Or would it be best to give Company A my two weeks notice soon, and start with Company B right away (with them giving me the leave)? Also, at what point will they require my written offer of employment and how do I report that I have one? Basically - can I quit company A on June 27 with a written offer in hand that states company B will schedule me for August 8? Sorry if I'm confusing you.
I will not mention the training course, and I am happy with filing the reports and saying I was not available.
[OP]
Moderator
User avatar
Sep 21, 2004
10451 posts
4735 upvotes
Calgary
cbikeo wrote: Thank you very much for your quick reply.
My current claim ends the last week of June, with my course starting at the same time. Should I let my claim end, complete my course, and then reapply for a new claim once the course is over? Or would it be best to give Company A my two weeks notice soon, and start with Company B right away (with them giving me the leave)? Also, at what point will they require my written offer of employment and how do I report that I have one? Basically - can I quit company A on June 27 with a written offer in hand that states company B will schedule me for August 8? Sorry if I'm confusing you.
I will not mention the training course, and I am happy with filing the reports and saying I was not available.
If you can do that, perfect. You don't even need to give company A 2 week notice if you can start at company B right away. Then apply when you return from the training.
Newbie
May 23, 2013
6 posts
b166er1337 wrote: If you can do that, perfect. You don't even need to give company A 2 week notice if you can start at company B right away. Then apply when you return from the training.
If for some reason, company B wishes to hire me on August 8 (when my course is over), would I be okay to have the one month gap between company A and B? And how do I report the change in employment?
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2009
550 posts
153 upvotes
On the topic of different provinces...

Up till now my plan has been that if I move to another province it'll only be with an offer in hand. However circumstances could change in such a way that I might want to move prematurely without an offer and search in my new city.

Are there any consequences to this in terms of EI? My destination city would probably have a slightly higher general unemployment rate than where I am now, but more opportunities in my field. I know that EI cares about my "home area" with respect to which opportunities I apply for and accept offers from. Do they care if I change my home area?
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
9474 posts
1914 upvotes
Edmonton
queerasmoi wrote: On the topic of different provinces...

Up till now my plan has been that if I move to another province it'll only be with an offer in hand. However circumstances could change in such a way that I might want to move prematurely without an offer and search in my new city.

Are there any consequences to this in terms of EI? My destination city would probably have a slightly higher general unemployment rate than where I am now, but more opportunities in my field. I know that EI cares about my "home area" with respect to which opportunities I apply for and accept offers from. Do they care if I change my home area?
You'll be fine. You won't get paid while you're moving though
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2009
550 posts
153 upvotes
clseea wrote: You'll be fine. You won't get paid while you're moving though
Yeah that's fine. If paying people to expedite my move would cost more than one week of EI, I may as well just declare unavailable for a week or two and take my time.
Newbie
May 23, 2013
6 posts
b166er1337 wrote: When you quit, make sure you have written offer from company B. If I were you, I would not mention the reason you quit is due to taking a training program (that's personal choice, and not just cause). If an agent asks why there is an one-month gap, just tell them you wanted to take some time off (and therefore not available for work during this time), but you only did so after securing a job offer from company B. It's much more likely to be allowed, and when you start with company B, you can go back to EI.

I assume you are on EI now; when you file your reports, you should declare you are not available for work while taking the training course.
Spoke with Company B today, and they said they will start me after my course is over. I have to quit company A by June 27. Will I be allowed to have the one month gap in employment? Because I have an offer from company B to start on a certain date will I still be eligible for benefits? I am not concerned about receiving benefits when I am off for the month. I am most concerned about the gap affecting the future months in my claim.

Also, will I be asked by an agent why I left company A for company B?

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