Teachers were engaged in insurable and pensionable employment

Public Law - Social programs - Employment insurance

Company operated private school providing language training and high school education credits for international students. CRA conducted compliance audit and issued rulings that five teachers were employees engaged in pensionable and insurable employment within meaning of Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance Act, which were confirmed by Minister. Company appealed. Appeal dismissed. Teachers were presented with written agreement and company’s “take it or leave it” attitude meant there was no real negotiations between parties, with teachers paid fixed and non-negotiable rate of pay. Teachers and company mutually intended and understood that teachers were independent contractors but objective reality did not sustain parties’ subjective intent. Level of control exercised by company, with teachers assigned duties similar to public school teachers, was more consistent with employment. Company provided various materials and services and, although principal testified that teachers provided their instructional material, this was not uncommon for teachers who were employees so tools and equipment factor was neutral. Company’s role in hiring and paying substitute teachers was consistent with employment. Teachers’ hourly wage was set by company based on workload and performance such that they could only make more by working longer hours. Teachers did not promote themselves as conducting business enterprise but promoted school, at which fixed location of their work they were integral part of company’s business operations. Company had to exercise sufficient level of control and supervision of teachers to ensure that they met standards of curriculum. Teachers were engaged in insurable and pensionable employment.

Canada Sun Education Inc. v. M.N.R. (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 2074, 2019 CarswellNat 2168, 2019 TCC 117, 2019 CCI 117, Rommel G. Masse D.J. (T.C.C. [Employment Insurance]).

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