SUPPLEMENTAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT (S.U.B.) PLAN REPORT
It should be understood that our negotiated Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan (S.U.B.) is an extension of Canadian governments Employment Insurance Act and as such is subject to the regulations set out by the Federal branch known as Service Canada.
An Employee shall be considered eligible for a Regular Supplementary Unemployment Benefit (S.U.B) for any Week they were on a qualifying layoff, if on his or her last day of work had five (5) years of seniority. The last scheduled working day prior to the lay-off is Friday August 3rd, 2018. If this, in fact, is your last day of work prior to the lay-off you would be considered eligible for Regular (S.U.B.) during the lay-off period if you were hired on, or before August 3rd 2013.
In addition to seniority on your last day worked, to receive a (S.U.B.) payment from the plan, you must also qualify for an Employment Insurance Benefit payment from Service Canada for the week of the scheduled lay-off.
The only way an Employee who has the seniority may qualify for a payment from the (SUB) plan who did not receive an Employment Insurance Benefit for the lay-off scheduled, would be if he or she applied for Employment Insurance benefits on or after the last day they worked and did not have the required insurable hours to qualify for Regular Employment Insurance claim. In this case, the company upon proof in the form of your Service Canada statement would provide a (S.U.B) payment equal to 65% of his/her Weekly Straight Time Pay (less any other compensation).
CHANGES TO THE EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT & IMPACT ON (S.U.B) PAYMENTS
After the ratification of our most recent collective agreement on November 7th 2016, the Employment Insurance Act was amended. On January 1, 2017, the waiting period before E.I. benefits become payable was reduced from two weeks to one week.
As we have not had a temporary mass lay-off at the Oakville Assembly Complex since, there are many questions on how this will affect us in the upcoming temporary mass lay-off scheduled for Sunday August 12th to August 18th 2018.
In short, while the E.I. Act was altered, our collective agreement remains the same. As our language under the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan Article 1.01 (k) states that;
“..no Regular Benefit shall be payable for the first full Week of Layoff during a calendar year for which an Employee has received an Employment Insurance waiting period week credit, unless such first Week occurs within less than fifty-two (52) weeks from the beginning of the last “waiting period” week for which no Regular Benefit was payable by reason of such week having been an established Employment Insurance “waiting period” week.”
In simple terms what this means is that if you are establishing a new E.I. claim and as such are serving an Employment Insurance waiting period during our next scheduled lay-off, you will not be eligible to receive a payment from the SUB plan. There is still a one week waiting period for (SUB). This has not changed.
No further temporary lay-offs are scheduled beyond August 12th to 18th, 2018. In a hypothetical situation, the question becomes, what if a second week of lay-off were scheduled over the next 52 weeks from the start of an employee’s established E.I. claim with a one waiting period already served? The (SUB) payable to an eligible Employee for that week of lay-off shall be an amount which, when added to his/her Employment Insurance Benefit, will equal 65% of his/her Weekly Straight Time Pay (less any other compensation). This is new as a result of the changes in the Employment Insurance Act.
Prior to January 1, 2017, the same employee in this hypothetical situation would have been serving the second week of their Employment Insurance waiting period, and therefore received a SUB payment that would equal 65% of his/her weekly straight time pay (less any other compensation), but with no E. I. Benefit payable.
In Summary, eliminating the second E.I. waiting period is great for anyone who does not have the seniority to qualify for (S.U.B) as it provides an additional week of Employment Insurance benefits that they would not have previously received.
However, for those that have entitlement to (S.U.B.) their overall income during lay-off periods remains the same. The only difference now is that Service Canada is issuing an Employment Insurance payment of $547.00 during the second week of lay-off in a 52 week period. Please note that this could result in an individual being subject to an additional 30% ($164.10) E.I repayment upon filing their income tax return. This is because anyone who has a net income of more than $64,645.00 in 2018 and has received at least one regular E. I. payment over the preceding 10 taxation years will be subject this repayment.
Paul Ivey – Unifor Local 707 S.U.B Chairperson
Tim Batke – Unifor Local 707 S.U.B. Committee Member