Employment insurance: Julie Forest secures a remarkable decision from the Tax Court of Canada

June 11, 2019 — Television production requires numerous workers, in different trades, whose services can be required for a few hours or several weeks. In all this diversity, what criteria will help decide which workers are insurable under paragraph 5(1)(a) of the Employment Insurance Act?

Such was the question that was recently answered by the Tax Court of Canada in MWW Enterprises Inc. v. M.N.R., 2019 TCC 127. Hearing appeals of decisions from the Canada Revenue Agency, the Court focused on the characterization of the workers’ contractual relationship.

  The respondent [the Minister of National Revenue] refers only to the applicable provisions of the Civil Code of Québec (CCQ) with respect to the definition of a contract of employment (art. 2085 CCQ) and a contract of enterprise or for services (art. 2098 and 2099 CCQ). The appellant [MWW Enterprises Inc., represented by RSS] adds that the issue must be analyzed within the Quebec socio-legal context, which includes not only the CCQ but also specific legislation and the agreements described above that govern the relationships between producers and artists. [para 12]  

After a substantial analysis, the Court recognized the validity of the position help by the appellant, represented by Julie Forest, and the qualification of the contractual relation by the parties.

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