Ottawa re-defines 'suitable work' in new EI rules announced today

Canada’s federal government announced new rules for those seeking Employment Insurance today.

Among other things, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley explained how the term “suitable employment” has been re-defined.

From the Globe:

The Conservative government unveiled a sweeping overhaul of Canada’s Employment Insurance system, creating three new tiers of job hunters that will most directly affect repeat users of the program.

(…) Canadians will be expected to broaden their search the longer they remain on EI.

The unemployed will be divided into three categories, depending on how frequently they file EI claims. They will be: Long-tenured workers, Occasional, and Frequent. The new changes will mostly push those in the latter category to broaden their job search quickly after becoming unemployed, which could mean accepting lower paid positions and jobs located as far as one hour away, or longer “in communities where longer commuting times are the norm.”

Last week, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had begun preparing the ground for today’s EI announcement as he declared that, “There is no bad job, the only bad job is not having a job,” and added a personal touch to it: “I drove a taxi, I refereed hockey. You do what you have to do to make a living.”