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Direct Sellers Unfairly Excluded from the CERB

TORONTO, April 9, 2020 –Today, the Direct Sellers Association of Canada (DSA), responded to the restrictive eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

“Over 1.2 million Canadians, 82% of which are women, work in the direct selling industry and they have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, like so many other industries in Canada“, said DSA President, Peter Maddox. “They deserve the same support that millions of Canadians will be receiving through the CERB.”

Independent sales consultants (ISCs) rely on direct selling either to supplement other income or help make ends meet for their families. Many of them use direct selling as a more flexible way to make money than a 9-to-5 job, which better fits their lifestyle. Canada’s direct sellers help millions of Canadians access goods that they may otherwise not be able to at this time, and they contribute to the health of the local economy.

“Many ISCs have lost the majority of their income, but continue to make a small portion of it through e-commerce and commissions. These commissions are preventing them from accessing the CERB, even though they may have lost a large majority of overall income”, continued Maddox.

The CERB eligibility is clear that it only allows applicants to access the benefit if they are receiving no income. This is unlike employment insurance (EI), which allows for other sources of income and encourages Canadians to remain part of the active workforce. The CERB should be adjusted to ensure millions of ISCs don’t have to give up a flexible earning opportunity in order to access support.

“We are asking that the government amend eligibility criteria to allow Canadians who have lost the majority, but not all, of their income to have to access the CERB,” concluded Maddox.

Since 1954, the Direct Sellers Association of Canada has established and upheld rigorous standards, ethics and good business practices, as the recognized voice of our industry. We are a family of competitors, using our combined strength to ensure fairness in regulations and to gain credibility and respect with Canadians. As an industry that connects 1.2 million Canadians to entrepreneurial opportunity and enrichment, we provide assurance of member company integrity and a foundation of trust for independent sales consultants (ISCs) and consumers.