Workers Talk about CERB

The end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is approaching and there is uncertainty about what comes next for workers.

The Workers’ Action Centre has now released the results of a survey of workers across Canada, on their experiences under COVID-19 and  how they have or haven’t accessed CERB. Key findings include:

  • While most unemployed people surveyed had accessed CERB, those who didn’t faced barriers in particular:
    • Being unemployed for reasons not directly related to COVID-19
    • Not earning $5,000 in the previous year (one in four)
    • Being on EI at a lower benefit rate
  • While 55 percent of respondents said they could survive on CERB, 45 percent said it wasn’t enough to cover their essential items like rent, food, medicine, phone/internet access, and transportation.
  • Significant concerns among workers when CERB runs out in particular:
    • Not being able to find work
    • Not being able to qualify for EI, or being able to qualify but not being able to survive on it
    • Working at reduced hours

To read the whole report, click here. You can also find their policy recommendations for improving EI here.