Federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley says EI enforcement will be stepped up in the new year. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The federal Human Resources department will step up enforcement of the Employment Insurance program, when new rules on job searches come into effect early next year, says the minister.

Starting Jan. 6, EI recipients will be required to accept "suitable employment" and conduct "reasonable job searches" in order to maintain their benefits.

Under the new system, it'll be easier to make sure claimants follow the rules, said Human Resources Minister Diane Finley.

"We already have a rigorous integrity program. We'll just be adding some more dimensions to it. And now it'll be a little clearer for the claimants and the people who are looking at compliance whether people are complying with the rules or not," said Finley.

EI claimants who are found to have broken the rules can be cut off.

Government still hasn't published the regulations which will set out the definitions of suitable employment and reasonable job search. That's supposed to happen next week.