Here’s what Local 793 members need to know about EI hiring hall rules when conducting an active job search. According to section 10.6.4 of the Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles  Chapter 10 – Section 6 from Employment and Social Development Canada:

Pursuing employment through a union hiring hall may be evidence that a claimant is available for work. Work through the claimant’s union hiring hall can equate to employment in the claimant’s same occupation.

However like all other claimants, union hiring hall members must expand their willingness to seek and accept less favourable types of employment after a certain number of weeks on claim.

Union hiring hall exemptions are calculated as follows: a claimant in good standing with their hiring hall may restrict their job search to their union hiring hall for three weeks from the start of their claim, plus one week of exemption for each year of experience in the occupation with their union, to a maximum exemption of 16 weeks. After the exemption period, the worker is expected to expand the type of employment they are seeking and to conduct an active job search outside their Union Hiring Hall and their normal industry.

Once these claimants are expected to seek and accept work outside their union hiring hall, on-going registration with their union hiring hall can be considered as one activity, for the purpose of proving that reasonable and customary efforts are being made to obtain suitable employment. The onus is on the claimant to personally seek jobs outside their union hiring hall, even if they continue to be a member of that hiring hall.

If a claimant is restricting their availability for work to only certain types of work, they may be disentitled from regular benefits until they expand the types of work they are willing to seek and accept, if this is a restriction and not just a preference. A claimant will not be disentitled from benefits as soon as they impose restrictions on their availability for work, if they have not previously been warned that such a restriction is not permitted. They will be given a short period of time to adjust their job search before a disentitlement is imposed. Each claim will be considered on a case-by-case basis.