Working Part Time While Unemployed

Under certain conditions, it is possible to work part time while receiving unemployment benefits. This is a good way to return to the job market smoothly. Explanations.

Whether it is to gain experience, keep skills up to date or avoid blanks in your CV, working part time during a period of unemployment can be a winning strategy. In addition, in 2017, one in six jobs created in Montreal was part time. Added to that, the strong creation of full-time jobs in Quebec contributes to the decline of involuntary part-time work…  In other words, making the choice of half a job is being done more and more deliberately. And furthermore, the employment insurance program has improved – it is now possible to continue collecting benefits while working part time.

Earning extra income

While it is not allowed to hold a full-time position while receiving employment insurance benefits, it is entirely possible to receive them while working part time, thanks to the government’s Working While on Claim pilot project. This project aims to help those who need it to remain on the job market by letting them earn extra income during a period of unemployment. This applies to all those who receive employment insurance benefits, including regular benefits and benefits for fishers, parental, compassion or for parents of critically ill children. This new and more flexible pilot project, in force until August 2018, follows several other projects of the same type.

To receive benefits there are two options. First, keep 50 cents of benefits for every dollar earned, up to a maximum of 90% of the preceding week’s earnings. This is called the “default rule” since it is automatic. The other option, the “optional rule”, allows you to keep up to $75 or the equivalent of about one day of work. Service Canada states that this pilot project “will provide information for the purpose of making permanent changes to the employment insurance rules.”

Other benefits of part-time work

In addition, working part time can also be the opportunity to accumulate several positions and multiply your experience, while earning more money. Half-time can also be appropriate when returning to work after a parental leave, for example. It can also be an opportunity to return to school and follow a continuing education program, also dispensed half-time.

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