I recently started a job. I was under the impression that this job was not long term. This is important to me because there are certain things (like not having a break room or employee bathroom, working in a cold environment etc.) I am fine with a few days but not for months.

The job is for a marketing agency that hired several people for a specific client/project. They basically told me they weren't sure how long the work would be for but the contract I signed had a 6 month period. They said it's so they can keep me on the roster if more work comes available. The contract uses the phrase "part time employee" but does not specify any further hours etc.

I've been getting more than 40 hours of work in a week and now I'm sick. I called the manager to discuss it and she said she makes the schedule monthly and sends out availability requests beforehand.

Question How does restricting availability affect EI? Can I say I don't want to work more than 40 hours in a week? What about no more than 3 days in a row? I'm guessing I wouldn't be eligible for EI if I agreed to only 1 shift a week when they offered more? I had already been on EI before starting the job.

  • Is this question a better fit for workplace SE?
    – user39743
    Jan 20, 2022 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


In order to qualify for EI you must be:

ready, willing and capable of working each day

That means approximately work a normal day each weekday. 40 hours a week would be considered normal. If you can't do that you don't qualify.

If you are unable to work because you are sick there is EI sickness benefit. This assumes that you have a job, but are unable to perform it because of sickness.

You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $638 a week.

You should call Employment and Social Development Canada and explain your situation.

If you took on a part time job, and are looking for (and able to do) a full time job, you should not have stopped EI. You can do part time work while on EI, and they will reduce your benefits appropriately.


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