August 24, 2011
Exploring Alternative Financing and Delivery Options
Luc Turgeon analyzes the design of “special benefits” in EI, such as parental and maternity leave.
This research paper analyses the delivery of “special benefits” in Canada and whether they should be removed from the current EI program. It demonstrates that Canada’s special benefits are relatively generous from a comparative standpoint, are appreciated by Canadians and have a positive impact. However, it also argues that special benefits need to be improved in order to help Canadians face the ongoing crisis of care caused by increasing participation of women in the labour market and the aging of the population. Different reform options are explored, from the creation of a stand alone program to a devolution of responsibility for special benefits to the provinces. The paper ultimately recommends that the federal government maintain its current role in the delivery of special benefits, but moderately enhance the generosity of these benefits in part based on lessons learned from the Quebec experience.View PDF