Our support for Service Canada Work-Sharing

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The federal government, through Service Canada, has introduced a Work-Sharing program to help eligible employers avoid temporary layoffs and/or terminations. We will make every effort to support our customers during the period of these arrangements, including making exceptions to the terms of our contracts where it is appropriate to do so.

About Work-Sharing

Under the program, employees work a reduced week (which could be reduced hours or number of days) and the earnings paid by the employer are supplemented by Employment Insurance.

Service Canada’s Work-Sharing website indicates that "The employer must maintain all existing benefits for the duration of the WSP Agreement". Due to the reduction in hours, some employees may no longer meet the minimum number of hours required to be eligible for benefits. Benefits that are based on the earnings of the employee are also impacted.

What you need to be aware of

  1. Before you start. If you are considering participating in a work-sharing arrangement, contact your Sun Life Financial account executive before committing to the program, to determine whether we can make an exception or amend the terms of the contract to allow employees participating in the program to remain eligible for benefits.
  2. Eligible hours. If there is any chance a plan member could fall below the eligible hours requirement, and become ineligible for benefits, we will review the case to see if an exception can be made under the contract.
  3. Disability benefits. For any disability claims that occur during Work-Sharing, we will consider the employee's occupation to be the one that existed prior to the work-sharing arrangement. The test for the definition of own occupation will be based upon the hours/duties/responsibilities that the employee held before this program began and the occupation that the employee will ultimately be required to return to upon recovery from his or her disability. If an exception is approved, we will confirm how earnings, benefits, and premiums will be determined. 

Questions?

If you have any questions about this, please contact your Sun Life Financial group benefits representative.