NLTA Update for Substitute Teachers: CERB to transition to new EI benefit plan

The purpose of this message is to make substitute teachers, including part-time teachers who substitute, aware of a recent announcement from the federal government. 

The NLTA continues to lobby and advocate at both the federal and provincial levels for additional financial supports for teachers who substitute. The Association issued a Call to Action asking all members to email their respective MHAs and MPs in support of our substitute teachers. On July 31st, the Prime Minister announced that those in receipt of CERB, including those who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) right now, will benefit from a transitional parallel benefit similar to EI.  

Details are expected to be announced by the federal government before the end of August. What we know so far is that everyone receiving CERB will transition into a new EI plan, according to the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment and Workforce Development. Minister Qualtrough has also indicated that there may be a delay in receipt of benefits of up to 10 business days during the transition after CERB benefits end.

Many affected NLTA members did not meet the hours of insurable employment threshold when in-school classes were suspended in March, and have been unable to accumulate the necessary hours since that time. The Association immediately began lobbying for a reduction in the hours required to qualify for EI. Minister Qualtrough has indicated that the “parallel” benefit is intended to cover those who do not qualify for EI, including those unable to accrue sufficient hours of employment, by relaxing the EI eligibility criteria. Changes are also expected to the CERB income threshold of $1000 (gross) per month, something like the current process for reporting hours worked while on an EI claim, and the benefit level is expected to be similar to EI. 

Additional benefits are also expected for workers not entitled to employment income
if they contract COVID-19 and for those who must be absent from work due to being required to take care of a family member who becomes ill. 

The Association will provide further updates as soon as more information becomes available over the coming weeks.

Members with specific questions regarding their individual circumstances should contact an NLTA Administrative Officer at