Rarotonga, 2010

Simon Shields, LLB

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Employment Insurance

I used to practice the old 'unemployment' insurance when I was much younger, and there was no better source at that time than the government-produced Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles. It looks to be of the same quality and approach today.

. Canada (Attorney General) v. Hull

In Canada (Attorney General) v. Hull (Fed CA, 2022) the Federal Court of Appeal explained the employment insurance appeal system:
[15] Appeals of the General Division are brought to the Appeal Division, on leave being granted. Subsection 58(1) of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act, S.C. 2005, c. 34 (the DESD Act) sets out the grounds of appeal that allow the Appeal Division to interfere with the decision of the General Division. The Appeal Division must be satisfied that the General Division: (1) failed to observe a principle of natural justice or acted beyond or refused to exercise its jurisdiction; (2) erred in law in making its decision; or (3) based its decision on an erroneous finding of fact that it made in a perverse or capricious manner or without regard for the material before it. The only errors alleged by the Commission before the Appeal Division were that the General Division erred in law or exceeded its jurisdiction. Before this Court, the Commission (represented by the Attorney General of Canada) focuses its argument on errors of law made by the General Division and the Appeal Division, rendering the Appeal Division’s decision unreasonable.

[16] Therefore, this being a reasonableness review of the Appeal Division’s decision, the issue is whether it was reasonable for the Appeal Division to conclude that the General Division had not erred in law in its statutory interpretation of subsections 23(1.1) and 23(1.2) of the EI Act. Here, the question of "“what is the election contemplated by subsection 23(1.1) of the EI Act”" is a question of law.
. Green v. Canada (Attorney General)

In Green v. Canada (Attorney General) (Fed CA, 2020) the Federal Court of Appeal considered a judicial review application from the Appeal Division of the Social Security Tribunal of Canada on the issue of when an EI applicant was disentitled for 'voluntarily left his employment without just cause':
[7] I see no reviewable error on the part of the Appeal Division. On the hearing of this application the applicant confirmed that the Appeal Division correctly articulated, at paragraph 26 of its reasons, the factors that led him to quit his job. I am of the view that the Appeal Division committed no reviewable error when it found that these factors, whether considered individually or cumulatively, did not amount to just cause because the applicant had reasonable alternatives to leaving his job which included:
1. discussing his concerns with his employer more thoroughly and exploring different types of accommodation (as opposed to asking on arrival at the worksite to not work on the night shift);

ii. requesting medical leave, seeking consultation with a doctor or obtaining a doctor’s note regarding his medical issues; and

iii. continuing to work until he found other employment.


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