moved for leave to introduce Bill C-223, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (gratuities).
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to re-introduce this bill which, if passed, will improve the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Canadians with respect to the employment insurance regime.
When restaurant servers apply for EI, their tips are not taken into account in the calculation of the EI payments even though they are included when they pay taxes. So they cannot collect EI on them.
This bill would make it mandatory for servers to claim their tips as income and that EI calculations be based on that total income. This is important because the custom in the restaurant industry is for servers to have low wages on top of which they receive tips. This change would give servers the economic security and equal footing that they deserve by removing the unfair and discriminatory economic disadvantage they face if they lose their jobs.
I would again like to extend my congratulations and thanks to Caitlin Rooney, a constituent of mine from the riding of Halifax who brought this issue to my attention. I would like to thank the member for Berthier—Maskinongé for seconding this bill, as I know she is a passionate advocate for the rights of workers who rely on tips to make ends meet.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)