Can I get EI if I quit my job?

If you quit your job, you will not qualify for regular EI benefits unless you had “just cause”. Just cause means that you had to quit because you had no other reasonable choice.

If you do not return to work when you are called back after a layoff, Service Canada sees this as quitting your job.

If you have a problem at work, it helps to show that you tried to fix it. If the problem is so serious that it cannot be fixed, you might qualify for EI if you quit.

But you might want to start looking for another job before you quit. Keep a record of your job search.

What if I had just cause for quitting?

If you can prove that you had just cause for quitting your job, you can get EI. There are many situations that could be just cause for quitting. Here are some examples.

You were discriminated against for one of the following reasons:

  • your race, colour, national or ethnic origin, or religion
  • your sexual orientation or your sex, which includes discrimination because of pregnancy or childbirth
  • your marital status or family status
  • your disability or age
  • you were convicted of a crime but have a pardon or record suspension
  • you belong to a union

Your employer or supervisor:

  • refused to pay you for overtime work, or forced you to work too much overtime
  • was unfair or hostile to you for no good reason
  • was doing something that was against the law
  • pressured you to leave your job

Or you quit your job because your employer:

  • expected you to work in dangerous conditions
  • cut your wages significantly or made major changes to your duties

Even if one of the examples applies to you, that might not be enough to be just cause. And there could be other reasons for leaving that Service Canada will see as just cause.

It is best to get legal advice before you quit your job for any reason. See Where can I get help and information? to find out where to get legal help.

Previous page Next page