Insurable employment means a job that is covered by the EI system. Most jobs are automatically covered by the EI system if you are an employee. You are automatically covered even if you don’t have a written contract and it does not matter how you are paid. If you are a contractor who works for yourself, you are usually not covered but there are many exceptions.
To qualify for EI benefits, you must have an interruption of earnings. Your employer must fill out a Record of Employment (ROE) every time you experience an interruption of earnings.
If you are applying for regular EI benefits, an interruption of earnings happens when you go 7 days without doing any work or getting any pay from your employer.
If you are applying for special benefits, like sickness benefits, maternity or parental benefits, compassionate care benefits, or benefits for parents of critically ill children, an interruption of earnings happens when your normal weekly earnings go down by more than 40%.