Federal budget offers mix of proposals

Changes to EI system highlighted by introduction of ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ parental leave
By Sheila Brawn
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 03/29/2018
Bill Morneau
Finance Minister Bill Morneau receives a standing ovation as he arrives to deliver the budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Feb. 27. Credit: Chris Wattie (Reuters)

The 2018 federal budget did not contain any payroll-related source deduction rate changes, but it did propose measures that could affect employers and payroll departments in the coming months and years.

The budget, which Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled on Feb. 27, proposed a variety of changes affecting employment insurance (EI). Chief among them was a new “use-it-or-lose-it” EI benefit for two-parent families, including adoptive and same-sex couples, if the parents agree to share parental leave.

The benefit — to become available in June 2019 — would provide up to five extra weeks of benefits to parents who agree to share the 35 weeks of standard EI parental benefits that the government provides. The 35 weeks of benefits are paid over 12 months at a rate of 55 per cent of insurable earnings, to a maximum amount.