Talent Canada
Talent Canada

Features Federal and Provincial Budgets
Budget 2023: Tool deductions, seasonal EI claimants and gig workers

Avatar photo

March 28, 2023
By Talent Canada

Budget 2023

We’re pouring over the fine print, and there’s lots to unpack for employers and workers in Budget 2023.

Here’s a sampling that didn’t fit into our other coverage.

Doubling the tradeperson’s tool deduction

To help tradespeople invest in the equipment they need, Budget 2023 proposes to double the maximum employment deduction for tradespeople’s tool expenses from $500 to $1,000.

This change would take effect for the 2023 taxation year and would reduce federal revenues by $11 million over six years, starting in 2022-23.


Continuing to support seasonal EI claimants

Many seasonal workers—including in fishing and tourism sectors—rely on Employment Insurance for the support they need between work seasons. To address gaps in Employment Insurance support between seasons, the government introduced temporary rules in 2018 to provide up to five additional weeks—for a maximum of 45 weeks—for eligible seasonal workers in 13 economic regions. This support is set to expire in October 2023.

Budget 2023 proposes to extend this support for seasonal workers until October 2024. The cost of this measure is estimated at $147 million over three years, starting in 2023-24.

Protecting federally regulated gig workers

When workers are engaged in a typical employer-employee relationship, but are misclassified as something other than employees, they miss out on the same labour rights, protections, and entitlements as traditional employees. For those in the gig economy, such as those who rely on an app or digital platform for their source of work, this can have a real impact on the stability and security of their livelihoods. As a first step in addressing this, in 2021, the federal government made illegal the intentional misclassification of employees in the federally regulated private sector.

Budget 2023 proposes to amend the Canada Labour Code to improve job protections for federally regulated gig workers by strengthening prohibitions against employee misclassification. This will help ensure all federally regulated workers receive the protections and employer contributions to which they are entitled, including Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan.

Protecting jobs with timely access to work-sharing agreements

When businesses struggle, it can be difficult for them to keep staff on payroll. The Work-Sharing Program helps avoid layoffs during temporary decreases in business activity by providing income support through the Employment Insurance program to eligible employees who work a reduced week while their employer recovers. This means that employees can keep their jobs and continue earning income, while their employer retains skilled workers without having to hire someone new when business picks up.

Budget 2023 proposes to provide $5.4 million over three years, starting in 2023‑24, to Employment and Social Development Canada to ensure that the Work-Sharing Program continues to provide timely support to Canadian workers and businesses.

Student work placement program

Work-integrated learning programs such as co-ops and internships play a critical role in helping students transition from post-secondary institutions to the workforce, it said

“The federal government recognizes the need to continue supporting students to develop work-ready skills, particularly in the context of an increasingly complex and evolving labour market.”

Budget 2023 proposes to provide $197.7 million in 2024-25 to the Student Work Placement Program to continue creating quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students through partnerships between employers and post-secondary education institutions.

These measures will ensure that students can gain the necessary skills, education, and real-life work experience to transition successfully into the workforce.

Print this page


Stories continue below