Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, entitled “Interim Report on the Maternity and Parental Benefits Under Employment Insurance: The Exclusion of Self-Employed Workers”.
During the course of its study, the committee heard compelling evidence from groups that represent the broad diversity of the self-employed in Canada. The committee heard the perspective of low income self-employed workers such as cleaners and home child care providers, and also from self-employed workers in higher income groups such as lawyers and entrepreneurs.
Given the range of witnesses consulted, it is indeed very telling that all the witnesses who appeared before the committee maintained that maternity and parental benefits should indeed be extended to self-employed workers. Given the changing realities in the Canadian workplace and the importance of investing in our children, the committee urges immediate action to ensure that self-employed workers are made eligible for maternity and parental benefits including employment insurance benefits.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee has requested a comprehensive government response.