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Connecting older Canadians with small businesses

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As small businesses continue to face labour shortages, new opportunities may arise from older Canadians looking to get back into the workforce. Previous CFIB research from Western Canada found that small business owners value experience, a strong work ethic, and loyalty that many older workers bring to the workplace. Though some small business owners are looking to hire seniors, they can face barriers when attempting to hire an older worker such as hiring costs and training.

CFIB provided several recommendations to policy makers in order to make it easier to connect older workers with small businesses who are interested in hiring them. Our recommendations include:

  • Reducing the costs of hiring and disincentives to work by:
    • Implementing a permanent, lower EI rate for small businesses in order to help reduce the costs of hiring new employees, including older workers; and
    • Allowing older workers over the age of 65 and their employers to opt out of paying EI premiums similar to what is available for CPP.
  • Addressing the costs of training for SMEs through:
    • Better communicating with small business owners on government programs (such as the Canada Job Grant) that may be able to assist with training older workers in their business; and,
    • Ensuring a portion of training program-specific funds is allocated for small businesses.

See our submission for the full list of recommendations.

If you have questions about our submission, or for help hiring an older worker, contact a CFIB Business Counsellor at [email protected] or by telephone at 1 888-234-2232.