Small businesses welcome lower employment insurance rate

Ottawa, September 13, 2018 – The lower Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate announced today by the federal government is a welcome reprieve for small businesses, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“We are pleased by the direction the government has taken to lower EI premiums at a time when small businesses are feeling pressure from trade uncertainty and upcoming CPP hikes,” said Corinne Pohlmann, CFIB’s senior vice-president of national affairs. “We congratulate Ministers Morneau and Duclos on this positive step that CFIB has been recommending for many years.”

The new employer rate of $2.27 per $100 of insurable earnings, a 5 cent reduction over last year, will offset some, but not all of the CPP cost increases coming employers’ way in 2019.

CFIB encourages the federal government to further alleviate payroll costs for small businesses by:

  • Creating an EI tax credit for hiring and training employees
  • Putting in place a permanent, lower EI rate for small businesses
  • Gradually moving from an employer rate that is 1.4 times greater than the employee rate to a 50/50 split
  • Implementing an EI holiday for hiring youth

“A thriving and stable small business sector brings lasting jobs to communities across Canada. Lowering payroll costs means employers can invest more of their funds in employee training, business growth and future planning,” added Pohlmann. “Helping small businesses remain competitive on a national and international level is in all our benefit.”

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region. Learn more at