NDP asks Liberals to drop appeal of tribunal ruling in EI mat leave case

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Published February 23, 2022 at 1:54 pm

OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats are asking the country’s employment minister to drop the government’s appeal of a decision that found employment insurance rules discriminatory against new mothers.

In his letter to Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough, NDP critic Daniel Blaikie says an appeal of the tribunal ruling would only prolong access to justice for new parents who lose their jobs.

Instead of challenging the ruling from a federal tribunal, he is asking Qualtrough to introduce the necessary legislation to amend the social safety net program.

In January, the Social Security Tribunal ruled that sections of the Employment Insurance Act violated women’s constitutional rights to equality under the law.

It did so in a case brought by six women who lost their jobs while on, or just after, parental leave and had their EI claims rejected because they hadn’t worked the minimum number of hours needed to qualify for benefits.

The tribunal’s ruling noted that it was up to the government to resolve the situation, and Blaikie is offering his party’s support to pass by summer any bill the Liberals introduce.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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