As you are aware, all of IATSE Local 514’s productions have halted filming or prep as a precautionary and temporary measure to avoid the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. Our local office is now closed and staff are working remotely.
We will keep you informed as this unfolds.
What to do if your show has suspended production:
Almost all IATSE 514 Productions, for health and safety concerns, will mail most pay cheques out on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Please do not attempt to pick up your cheques in person as those production offices will be closed to any visitors. Call ahead to confirm if you have not heard already
At this time, when possible, productions are also attempting to issue both severance cheques and/or pay cheques for the week ending March 21, 2020.
If there are errors or omissions from your payment, please note them, email production accounting and our office so that we can follow up on adjustments once production returns.
Employment Insurance (EI)
Our advice to members is to start the process of filing for Canada Employment Insurance for those that qualify. You can do so by applying online right here or by calling 1-800-206-7218, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, and press 0 to speak to a representative.
For the latest from the government : https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
New EI Benefits Summary from our Legal Counsel:
The IATSE is encouraged by the Federal Government’s recent spending initiative announcements aimed at assisting all workers to deal with the financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 crisis. A summary of available benefits is listed below. Some of these benefits were announced so recently that there is not yet instruction from government or links on how/where to apply.
We are in the process of seeking further clarity with respect to the eligibility requirements for the various income replacement supports identified by the Federal Government. In the interim, we will continue our Federal and Provincial government lobbying efforts with a view to ensuring no class of entertainment worker is denied some form of income replacement support.
EI Sickness Benefits
Employees who have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus or are engaging in a public health authority directed self-isolation and/or quarantine may apply for Employment Insurance sickness benefits. Employees applying for EI sickness benefits must have:
• experienced a decrease in gross earnings of more than 40% for at least one week;
• accumulated 600 insurable work hours in the 52 weeks prior to the start of a claim; and
• been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus or are engaging in a public health authority directed self-isolation and/or quarantine
EI sickness benefits provide an employee with up to 55% of their gross earnings, up to a maximum of $573 per week for up to a maximum of 15 weeks.
The Federal Government recently announced that it will be waiving the otherwise mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for those employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or those who are engaging public health authority directed self-isolation and/or quarantine.
The Federal Government has also indicated that claimants will be eligible for EI sickness benefits without the usual requirement of a doctor’s note or other medical certificate.
Employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are engaging in a public health authority directed self-isolation and/or quarantine should file a claim for EI sickness benefits immediately. Any delay in filing a claim could give rise to a denial or reduction of EI sickness benefits.
For more information on EI sickness benefits, including eligibility requirements, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness.html
The Federal Government has also set up a new dedicated toll-free phone number for employees who are in quarantine and seeking to waive the one-week EI sickness benefits waiting period: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free).
EI Regular Benefits
Provided employees have the requisite number of insurable work hours in the qualifying period, employees who are otherwise healthy and capable of working may apply for Employment Insurance regular benefits arising from a loss of employment due to COVID-19.
The qualifying period is the shorter of the 52 week period prior to the start of any benefit claim or the period from the start of a previous benefit claim to the start of your new benefit claim if the employee applied for benefits earlier and the application was approved in the last 52 weeks. Generally speaking, employees will need between 420 and 700 hours of insurable employment based on the unemployment rate in the employee’s area during the qualifying period to be eligible for EI regular benefits.
EI regular benefits provide an employee with up to 55% of their gross earnings, up to a maximum of $573 per week. The length of any EI regular benefit entitlement varies from region to region, depending on the unemployment levels in the region where the employee works. Currently, the Federal Government has NOT waived the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI regular benefits for those employees who have been laid-off as a result of a COVID-19 slow-down.
For more information on EI regular benefits, including eligibility requirements, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit.html
Emergency Care Benefit
The Federal Government recently announced the creation of an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks, administered through CRA for those workers who don’t otherwise qualify for EI sickness benefits and/or EI regular benefits.
The Federal Government has indicated the Emergency Care Benefit will be available to the following class of workers:
• Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits;
• Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not quality for EI sickness benefits; and
• Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.
Based on these initial eligibility requirements indicated by the Federal Government, the new Emergency Care Benefit appears to be available to freelancers and loan-outs and other IATSE members, like part-time employees, who would otherwise not be eligible for EI sickness benefits and/or EI regular benefits.
For more information on the Emergency Care Benefit, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/Unen/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html
Emergency Support Benefit
The Federal Government also just announced the creation of an Emergency Support Benefit for Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID-19’s impact. The Emergency Support Benefit will be delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment. Details of the benefit amounts payable to individuals and eligibility requirements for this benefit have yet to be articulated by the Federal Government. When further details become available, we will provide them.
UPDATED E.I. Information:
When applying for E.I. benefits, answer “No” to the following question: “Are you part of a group of employees in an Apprenticeship program, a Work-sharing program, a group layoff situation (including layoffs due to a natural disaster), or the automotive industry AND were you given a reference code to submit with this application?”
Your employer of record should be listed as either Entertainment Partners Canada, or Cast & Crew Entertainment Services Inc — check your paystub.
State the reason for termination as “shortage of work”.
Record of Employment (ROE)
For those of you that qualify for E.I. benefits and are looking for your Record of Employment, please note that EP Canada and Cast & Crew will digitally upload ROEs to your Service Canada account.
For information on EP Canada, follow this link: https://www.ep.com/home/paying-crew-and-talent/canada-payroll-crew-cast-record-employment/
For Cast & Crew, call 416-406-2768, supply them with the last 3 digits of your SIN number and they will upload your ROE to your Service Canada account.