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Can articling students go on EI during unpaid "vacation" before starting as associates?

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Hi all,


I am wondering whether it is valid that an Articling Student who will be finishing their 10 month Articling contract at a firm in May/June, and who has signed and accepted an offer of employment for an Associate position beginning in the fall at that same firm, may go on Employment Insurance (EI) in the intervening months before starting as an Associate.


I understand that you must be "ready, willing and able" to work in order to claim EI. This means you must remain in the country, and not go travelling, in order to receive benefits.


If you read the information for Teachers on the Service Canada website, it states that no regular benefits can be paid for any week of unemployment during a "non-teaching period", which would usually include the summer break. However, an exception to this general rule is if the contract of employment for teaching has terminated. In further notes, Service Canada states that a "teacher in a repetitive 10 month contract is considered to have a termination of contract at the end of the teaching period. However, if a contract for the next teaching period is signed or agreed with the same school board prior to the termination, regular EI benefits cannot be paid for the non-teaching period."


This suggests to me that an Articling Student who has accepted an Associate position before the end of their Articling term, at the same firm at which they Articled, is not able to claim EI benefits.


However, it seems that some of the case law may support an argument that if the first contract has terminated, and the new position that is accepted is under significantly different terms of employment, that this would not be considered the type of "rolling" or "repetitive" contract that Teachers are often under, and so the lay-off period would be eligible for benefits so long as the person was "ready, willing, and able" to accept employment.


I know that many Associates have claimed EI, been approved, and have never had any problems. The question here is not "can I apply and get approved?", but is rather "is it lawfully valid for an Articling student on unpaid 'vacation' (who has already signed an offer of employment for an Associate position at the same firm at which they Articled) to claim EI?".


Finally, I do not think it will be productive to discuss whether it is "moral" to claim benefits. Let's stick to the law. Articling students pay EI premiums, and will be paying them going forward in their careers, and so it does not seem outrageous to me to inquire as to whether it is valid for such students to apply for EI benefits during their summer lay-off period.

Edited by blackrebelmoto

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Finally, I do not think it will be productive to discuss whether it is "moral" to claim benefits. Let's stick to the law.


I suppose you can apply and see what they say.


Otherwise this sounds like you're asking for legal advice, which you should not do on this forum.


The only interesting part of this thread to me IS the morality issue. But I won't go there, at your request.


Edit: link

Edited by Hegdis

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