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I am having a hard time trying to make this sentence grammatical, idiomatic and easily parsed; all at the same time.

The UI program provides temporary income support to eligible unemployed workers while they actively seek new employment or obtain vocational training [comma?] and to those who take time off from work due to sickness, pregnancy, childbirth, or to provide care to a critically ill child or a sick family member with a significant risk of death.

  1. I was told to add a comma after training. Given they are not independent clauses (one subject, UI program; and one verb, provides) I don't understand why there should be a comma.

  2. I am confused about the second part. Is the usage of "or to" correct?

"and to those who take time off from work due to sickness, pregnancy, childbirth, or to provide care..."

After trying for hours, I was suggested to use a run-in list alternative:

The UI program provides temporary income support to (1) eligible unemployed workers while they actively seek new employment or obtain vocational training; and to (2) those who take time off from work due to sickness, pregnancy, childbirth, or to provide care to a critically ill child or a sick family member with a significant risk of death.

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Such information is so much more easily comprehended if you are able to break up the sentence. Unless your format excludes the sort of construction below, it's what I would suggest to you as the clearest way of communicating with your readers: (Apologies if this proves unhelpful!)

The UI program provides temporary income support to two groups:
1. eligible unemployed workers while they actively seek new employment or obtain vocational training;
2. those who take time off (from) work
(a) due to sickness, pregnancy or childbirth,
(b) to provide care to a critically ill child or a sick family member with a significant risk of death.

  • Thanks! Should there be a "and" after "training;"? And should there be an "or" after "childbirth,"? – AIQ Mar 8 at 8:41
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    In this staggered format I would say that they are optional. You could certainly put them in. – Ronald Sole Mar 8 at 9:44

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