This applies to Air Canada Mainline only.
We have received many questions that surround the pre-payment of your WIP contributions.
WIP is a Wage Replacement Program for Air Canada mainline members who fall ill and continue to be ill for 14 days or more. After the 14-day elimination period from your first flight missed or reserve day you are entitled to make an application for WIP, Short-Term Disability. The WIP Policy Booklet is attached HERE.
Prepayments are to ensure your WIP coverage is in place once you return to active work following any leave of absence. WIP Benefits are not payable while you are on the leave.
ACTIVE WORK, ACTIVELY AT WORK means the performance of the regular duties of your own occupation in accordance with the regular work schedule. New employees are not considered actively at work until they have performed their regular duties for one flight or shift if on special assignment or union officer duties, or one day of reserve duty.
It does not include periods during which you are undergoing training mandated by the Ministry of Transport or the employer, or while on vacation, IMMS, or any other non-pre-paid form of leave.
The Board of Trustees have made a decision to give a Contribution Holiday for the April Block Month ONLY, therefore pre-payment is not required by any members as outlined below.
1. Any member who is in receipt of Short Term WIP or Long Term WIP does not have to prepay for the Block Month of April.
2. Any member who is in receipt of Workers compensation does not have to prepay for the Block Month of April.
3. Any Active workingmembers do not have to prepay for the Block Month of April.
4. CEWSmembers do not have to prepay for the Block Month of April.
5. CERB members do not have to prepay for the Block Month of April.
For the Block Month of May,
1. Any member who is in receipt of WIP, Short Term WIP or Long Term WIP does not have to prepay for the Block Month of May.
2. Any member who is in receipt of Workers compensation does not have to prepay for the Block Month of May.
3. Any Active working members do not have to prepay for the Block Month of May, it will be payroll deducted as normal.
4. CEWS, if you are on CEWS, Air Canada has been advised NOT to deduct WIP contributions from the payroll for the Block month of May.
CEWS members can choose to prepay for the Block Month of May and the months that follow if they have not returned to active work following the May Block Month to ensure coverage will be in place once you return to Active Work. No coverage is provided during the leave.
5. CERB members can choose to prepay for the Block Month of May and the months that follow if they have not returned to active work following the May Block Month to ensure coverage will be in place once you return to Active Work. No coverage is provided during the leave.
What does this mean for CEWS members?
The decision to not deduct WIP from CEWS members for the Block Month of May is because we have no idea what the end result of the mitigation process will be. Let me explain. For the Block Month of May, if you choose to prepay and after the mitigation process has been completed you find that for the month of June you continue to be inactive, not recalled to work, you will now have a decision to make. I will use Lay-Off status as an example as it is part of the mitigation process. If you choose to prepay for May and find that for the month of June you have been laid off you will need to choose if you continue with the prepayment of WIP in order to continue coverage following the termination of such leave or lay-off. Remember, there is no coverage provided during the leave.
Lay-off, your prepayment may be continued for a maximum duration of up to six (6) months. Should you become disabled during the six-month period, you will not be eligible for benefit consideration unless you are recalled from lay-off status. NOTE: no benefits are payable during any leave or lay-off. To be clear, if your prepayment amount was $70.00 per month and you now find yourself, for the Block Month of June, in a lay-off position, you will need to choose whether or not to continue with the $70.00 prepayment until the leave is over in order to keep benefits in place. Let’s say that the lay-off is more than 6 months and you prepaid $70.00 for the month of May and you chose to prepay the maximum prepayment allowable for a lay-off, which is 6 months, your total cost would be $490.00. If you did not get recalled within the 6-month period, you will have reached the 6-month limitation. You will not be able to continue with the prepayments and no coverage will be in place until you have actually returned to full time active work.
Members who are currently on the CEWS program that are quite certain that they will return to active work in June, based on their seniority, should consider pre-payment for continuation of coverage for the May Block Month. If no prepayment is made and you are scheduled to return to active duties in June, and you unable to do your first flight due to illness or accident coverage will not be in place. Coverage will only return when you are back at work. See Active Work, Actively at Work above.
The same process applies to Leave of absence granted (such as personal, educational, maternity, child care, bereavement, or jury duty) other than inability to meet medical standards (IMMS), your coverage may be continued for a maximum duration of up to 24 months.
If you have elected to keep your coverage in force and you become totally disabled during the 24-month period, the elimination period will commence on the date you are scheduled to return to work.
We are not able to get earnings from the Employer to calculate your prepayment costs until the April Block Month of is completed. We should have the information available for you by May 20, 2020 which will give you sufficient time to make a prepayment should you choose to do so. You have 45 days from the commencement of the leave, which is the first 1st day of the May Block Month, (May 5th) to make payment arrangements.
If you have additional questions please email Stephen Morash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Behalf of The Board of Trust,
NOTE: All Policy Booklet information can be accessed on the Air Canada Component of CUPE web site www.accomponent.ca or on the mobile App.
Manion, Wilkins & Associates
626-21 Four Seasons Place
Toll Free Line: 1-800-663-7849
Contact Centre: 1-866-532-8999