The self-employed can now take advantage of the benefits employees at regular jobs receive, thanks to the Canadian government.
As part of recently passed legislation, those who work for themselves can opt into the federal employment insurance plan and collect benefits currently available only to salaried workers.
Maternity, parental, adoption, medical and compassionate-care benefits will be made available under the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act.
“Self-employed Canadians should not have to choose between their family and business responsibilities,” Minister of Human Resources Diane Finley told CBC.ca. “Extending access to these benefits is the fair and right thing to do.”
People can begin signing up for the plan beginning January 1, 2010 and are eligible to start claiming benefits one year later. The only drawback is that you can’t opt out of the plan, meaning you will need to continue paying premiums for as long as you are self-employed.
2.6 million Canadians are self-employed and the government expects the plan to be self-financing depending on how many people sign up.
This is great news for Canadian entrepreneurs who have lobbied for such legislation for several years now.
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