However, there's no EI for the self-employed if they lose their job and can't find another. This policy means that the only way the self-employed can get EI is to have a baby.
The old argument was that you couldn't let the self-employed participate in EI because the worker decides when to work and when not to work. However, self-employment is a lot more complicated than that now. We have multi-month contracts that are renewed on a rolling basis. We have to work through agencies so that the companies can protect themselves from civil suits or government regulators, since we are essentially regular full-time employees (who just happen not to get any holidays or benefits). The business of self-employment has become so bizarre lately that the agency I am forced to work through deducts EI from my pay cheque but I am not eligible for EI.
This proposal is not just unfair to the rest of the self-employed. It's also unfair to all those regular employees who pay into EI. If the self-employed are not paying into EI, then why is EI being used to provide parental leave for them? If they do this, why not use EI to pay for other government benefits wholly unrelated to paying in?
This new proposal by the government just reeks of pandering. It has no relation to good policy or fair policy.