Table 8 – Employment Insurance (2016)

Maximum insurable earnings $50,800
Employee rate 1.88%
Maximum employee premiums1 $955.04
Employer rate (1.4 x employee rate) 2.632%
Maximum employer premiums $1,337.06
Regular benefits – maximum weekly amount
*can be higher for low-income families with children

1 Self-employed individuals can pay EI premiums (at the employee rate and then qualify (provided that certain conditions are met) to receive certain specialized EI benefits including maternity, parental/adoptive, sickness, and compassionate care benefits.
2 Under the compassionate care program, a person can receive up to a maximum of six months of benefits if they have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a member of their family who is gravely ill, with a significant risk of death within the next six months. A medical certificate will be required to obtain benefits under this program.

Repayment of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
EI recipients must repay a percentage of their EI benefits if their net income for the year exceeds a threshold amount. The repayment is 30% of the amount by which their net income exceeds $63,500 ($61,875 for 2015). All first-time claimants and EI special benefits for sickness, maternity, compassionate care, or parental reasons are exempt from this benefit repayment.

Non-insurable employment
No EI is collected in the case of
• employment by a corporation of a person who owns more than 40% of the issued voting shares;
• certain non-arm’s-length employment; or
• casual employment, if it is not for a person’s usual trade or business.