Employment Insurance Coverage Survey (EICS)
Summary of changes
Activity on this program started: 1998
In 2020, the target population of parents was expanded from mothers of infants aged one year or less to parents of infants aged 18 months or less to include fathers in households without a female parent and parents who have chosen to receive extended parental benefits.
The questionnaire underwent a major redesign in 2020 to reflect changes in the Employment Insurance program and to bring the questionnaire application in line with current standards for structure, naming conventions and operational considerations, such as self-response. Major changes to the survey questionnaire include the addition of new sections: Confirm Parent Status (PA), Parental benefits for spouses (PS), Benefits (BE) and Labour Market Activities (LMAM). These new sections replace the sections: Confirm Mother Status (MO), Parental benefits for fathers (PF), Parental benefits for mothers (PM) and Employment insurance (EI). The section on Socio-demographics (SD) was also removed, as this information is collected by the Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Starting in 2020, respondents have the option to complete the survey online.
Special COVID-19 adaptations for 2020:
In 2020, as a result of changes to the Employment Insurance program during the COVID-19 pandemic, only parents of infants aged 18 months or less were surveyed.
The April-May collection cycle was delayed to September-October as a result of COVID-19 shutdowns; therefore, for this cycle, the EICS used the rotation group that completed their six months in the LFS in August 2020 instead of March.
The section on Stopped Working (SW) was not included for the 2020 reference year.
In 2006, a few questions were modified to reflect the change in jurisdiction of parental benefits in the province of Québec. Additionally, all questions specifically related to parental benefits are now contained in two new sections: Parental benefits for mothers (PM) and Parental benefits for fathers (PF). These new sections replace Parental benefits (PB) and Total benefits (TB) used for 2004 and 2005 collection. The sections on Employment insurance (EI) Additional Payments (AP) and Plans to return to work (PR) were modified slightly for mothers but unchanged for the majority of respondents.
In 2005, the wording of a few questions was modified slightly to improve readability. These changes were implemented in response to interviewers' suggestions. The questions affected are: JB_Q02 (answer category in French only), IN_Q04, IN_Q18C, EI_Q15, and EI_Q17. The question PB_Q09 was eliminated as it was largely redundant with PB_Q08. Answer categories were revisited. The derived variable REASPNCL (Reason for the spouse not claiming parental benefit) based on these questions was unchanged.
Beginning with 2004, the questions relating to the sharing of parental leave between spouses are more precise, leaving no ambiguity as to whom the answers apply (the mother herself, her spouse or both). More questions are now asked to self-employed mothers for whom very little information was collected in the past. Questions were also added to better describe the job held before giving birth when there was a change in employment when returning to work. A section of intentions to claim all weeks of benefits available was added for the second cycle (results will only be available in 2005).
Revisions and seasonal adjustment - The 2004 data reflect population estimates based on the 2001 Census, compared to 1996 previously. Survey data from 2000 to 2003 inclusive were revised accordingly. The revision had little or no impact on the estimates.
Target population - In 2000, the survey population was expanded to include all mothers of a child aged 0 to 11 months during the survey reference month. This resulted in the introduction of Type 5 (working mothers) and changes to all remaining types, with the exception of Type 1 (unemployed).
Instrument design - Several questions were incorporated in 2000 to collect comprehensive information on access and use of parental leave.