Section 12 – Social Programs and Benefits

Employment Insurance Contributions and Quebec’s Parental Insurance Plan

Employment Insurance

EI contributions for employers and employees in provinces other than Quebec are as follows:

Contributions – EI
(Residents outside Quebec)
Employer Employee and registered self-employed worker
  • Rate
2.212% 1.580%
  • Maximum
$1,198.90 $856.36
Maximum pensionable earnings $54,200

Self-Employed Workers

Self-employed workers who want to qualify for parental, maternity, adoption, sickness and compassion benefits may register and make EI contributions. Registered self-employed workers must calculate and pay EI contributions in their income tax return for the taxation years in question. They must wait 12 months after registering before applying for a benefit.

Quebec Parental Insurance Plan

The QPIP is payable in addition to EI. Workers covered must contribute to both plans. As a result, adjustments were made to the EI plan in order to integrate both programs.

The QPIP provides additional benefits to EI, including:

  • Elimination of the one-week waiting period;
  • Increase in maternity, parental and adoption benefits.

Employee contributions are subject to employer deductions at source. Self-employed workers’ contributions must be taken into account in calculating their income tax instalments. With a few exceptions, the insurable earnings for both plans are the same1.

The following table compares the main conditions of the QPIP and the federal EI plan and illustrates the principles governing both plans, including persons subject thereto, and contribution rates.

2020 QPIP EI
Applicable to
  • Employers
Yes Yes
  • Employees controlling more than 40% of employer’s voting shares
Yes No
  • Employees who do not control more than 40% of employer’s voting shares
Yes Yes
  • Self-employed workers
Yes On a voluntary basis
Contribution (employees working in Quebec)
Maximum insurable earnings $78,500 $54,200
  • Employer
    • Rate
    • Maximum




  • Employee
    • Rate
    • Maximum




  • Self-employed worker
    • Rate
    • Maximum




1 For more information, consult the summary chart published by Service Canada:
2 For registered self-employed workers.
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