COVID-19 and the Canadian workforce

Reforming EI to protect more workers
March 16, 2020
440.86 KB16 pages

In just a few months, COVID-19 has put a serious strain on the health care systems and economies of many countries.

Alongside the direct health risk of contracting the coronavirus, workers face  the  possibility — the likelihood in many  sectors — of  reduced hours or even layoffs, as their companies seek to contain financial losses resulting from the global  pandemic. Furthermore, workers can be quarantined for various reasons including a positive test for COVID-19, self-isolation following travel, or employer requests for workers to stay home even if they have no symptoms.

To stay ahead of these and other likely effects of the coronavirus, Canada’s income support systems need to be made more resilient and responsive to the needs of workers who are either quarantined or whose industries are heavily impacted. This paper examines how well protected Canadian workers are now and what else should be done to better insulate them from these risks.