Make CERB eligible for Self-Employed & Part-Time Workers Experiencing Income Loss
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Under the current "Canada's Emergency Response Benefit" (CERB) individuals are required to make no income in order to be eligible. This leaves many self-employed Canadians and part-time workers excluded, despite suffering significant income loss.
Who does this directly affect?
- Freelancers that have lost the majority of clients; such as photographers, videographers, public speakers, personal trainers, and musicians to name a few
- Small business owners that are barely covering their monthly expenses to keep afloat
- Tutors that are still running online sessions for the few students they have left
- People in the gig economy including Uber drivers, food deliverers & house cleaners
- Contractors such as wedding planners & coordinators that still working with the few clients that they have left
- Hard-working Individuals that are still working part-time or side gigs after losing their primary full-time job
- The list goes on
Why you should care?
It hurts more than just the self-employed and part-time workers. Under its current framework, CERB requires these individuals to stop working entirely and businesses to shut down completely in order to qualify. Hence, it incentivizes freelancers to turn down work, businesses to close down, contractors to cease pursuing new opportunities and part-time workers to quit just so that they can qualify for CERB. This conflicting incentive structure neglects the self-employed and part-time workers but also negatively impacts Canadian consumers and our economy.
- Self-employed freelancers, small business owners, and contractors are neglected even if they have lost the majority of their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and self-isolation policies.
- Canadian consumers lose access to products and services due to self-employed individuals choosing to turn down work and/or shut down their business operation in order to receive CERB
- Hurts our economy by pushing businesses that are on the edge to shut down and lay off their staff.
- Negatively affects our international competitiveness when our businesses with global audiences shut down completely in order to qualify. (E-Commerce & Exporters to name a few)
- Loss of tax dollars from freelancers that would have otherwise picked up the odd job and businesses that would have chosen to keep their operations running and their employees employed.
We are asking that the federal government to modify the eligibility for self-employed Canadians and part-time employees that have lost their primary full-time job to qualify for Canada's Emergency Response Benefit.
This can take a number of forms such as:
- A Supplementary Income Assistant of $500 to $1,500 per month with an ability to have it increased to $2,000 per month for those earning no income over the last 14 day period
A supplementary assistant income could potentially be expanded to include other overlooked groups as well. These include post-secondary part-time students who lost their jobs and recent hires that have not met the required employment income of at least $5,000 to qualify.
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