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A Temporary Foreign Worker’s Rights During COVID-19

Are temporary foreign workers eligible for regular Employment Insurance if laid-off due to COVID-19?

Yes. Canada protects the rights of all workers by law. Temporary foreign workers are eligible to receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during the duration of their work permit if they are unemployed and meet the eligibility criteria, including having worked a sufficient number of hours.

Employer must pay their employees for their work; however, certain deductions must be made from an employee’s pay. This includes deductions for EI, Income Tax and Canada Pension Plan.

Since EI premiums are being deducted from the employee’s insurable earnings, the employee is entitled to receive EI benefits, if the eligibility criteria are met.

Can temporary foreign workers get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

Yes. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gives up to CAD $2000 a month to workers who have stopped working due to COVID-19. This includes employees, people who are self-employed, contract workers, and parents who were receiving EI parental benefits.

To apply, the temporary foreign worker must have a Social Insurance Number.

To qualify, the temporary foreign worker must have completely stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19 for at least 14 days in a row, and made at least CAD $5000 in 2019, or in the 12 months before applying. Note that this amount earned can come from employment, maternity or parental benefits from EI or provincial pregnancy/adoption benefits.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact us today.


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