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Survey of Self-Employed Regarding Possible Extension of Benefits

Subject Matter

Human Resources Development Canada wanted to conduct a survey of self-employed Canadians to explore issues related to the possible extension of maternity/parental and sickness benefits to self-employed people.


In total, 802 self-employed individuals were interviewed by phone, with 300 interviews in Quebec and the rest proportionately distributed throughout the rest of Canada. The data were then weighted to ensure that the results reflected the distribution of the Canadian population. Two lists were obtained to support the data collection process. For the purposes of this study, a self-employed person was defined as someone who owns and operates a business (thereby employing themselves) and is paid directly by the client, or does not have a business but is paid by the client (e.g. private home daycare, freelance writer, artist), or contracts his/her services to a company but is not considered to be an employee (i.e. company does not pay EI, CPP premiums or provide benefits), or draws a salary or receives a dividend from his/her incorporated company. Participants had to be self-employed for one year or more and self-employment earnings had to be their main source of personal income. Self-employed individuals covered by the Employment Insurance Program were not eligible to participate in the survey, and the fishing industry was not included. The distribution of completed interviews closely mirrored the distribution of self-employed as determined by Statistics Canada on key characteristics.

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