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EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE RATES REDUCED

The 2019 Employment Insurance (EI) Premium rate will be going down in 2018. The rate will be decreasing from $1.66 to $1.62 for every $100 of insurable earnings. This will be the lowest EI premium rate since 1980. The decrease in the effective rate for employers will be slightly greater, as employers pay 1.4 times the amounts paid by employees.

Nonetheless, total premium deductions will actually be increasing in the coming year, due to an increase in Maximum Insurable Earnings, from $51,700 in 2018 to $53,100 in 2019.

As a result, the maximum employee deduction will be increasing slightly to $860, and the maximum employer contribution will be rising to $1,204.

If an employee has net income over $66,375 in 2019, and they have received EI premiums for more that one week in the prior 10 years, they will have to pay back a portion of their EI premiums. This clawback rate will be 30% of the     amount that their net income exceeds $66,375.

EI PREMIUMS DECREASED FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The Small Business Job Credit was introduced this fall, and will be available for businesses in 2015 and 2016.

This credit is for small businesses in Canada which have annual EI employer premiums that are less than $15,000. If a business’ premiums are below this threshold, its EI rate will drop to 1.60% from a standard rate of 1.88%.

Similar to the current EI hiring credit, the CRA will determine whether a business qualifies for the credit when business files their annual T4 summary.

This credit will replace the EI hiring credit which expired in 2013. Many small businesses will find this credit more beneficial. The maximum credit available through the previous program was $1,000, whereas the new program offers a maximum credit of $2,234. It is anticipated that after 2016, the EI rate for all businesses will be reduced through other measures that will come into effect at that time.