The paid sick leave component is something that has to be accessible, it has to be something that workers can actually make use of.
Most Canadians still on the CERB benefit will transition to employment insurance, where the minimum benefit is also $500 per week. Employment Insurance comes with rules requiring people receiving benefits to make reasonable efforts to find work and not to refuse offers to return to the job. Those rules will also apply to the new recovery benefit.
Small businesses across the country have expressed concern that CERB was acting as a disincentive to workers to return to jobs.
Corinne Pohlmann, vice president of national affairs with the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, said having rules requiring people to take jobs if theyre offered is a good step.
Its not a bad idea to still have these support mechanisms out there, but we need to make sure there are conditions to incentive work, she said. We have to make sure we are getting people back into the workforce because ultimately that is the way to an economic recovery.
We’re very optimistic about the outcome of these negotiations
The new recovery benefit will also be clawed back gradually at tax time for anyone who makes more than $38,000 in 2020, with 50¢ of every dollar over that threshold having to be refunded.
Qualtrough said they believe they have hit the right balance between supporting people and getting people back to work.
Weve created a much more elegant balance between the need to not disincentivize work, but also support people who, regardless of efforts still arent working or have significantly reduced hours.