Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Applications to Open Next Week

wage subsidy
CPAC/YouTube

Canadians from coast to coast continue to face financial uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with more than one million jobs already lost in March alone.

Unfortunately, things aren’t looking much better, with one-third or 34.5% of Canadians fearing they’ll lose their job in April.

However, Canadian employers whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages through the federal government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program that is set to open next week, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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Applications for the CEWS benefit will open to employers Monday, April 27 through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website, and will offer a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks. The subsidy would be retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. 

The wage subsidy is intended to enable employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position themselves to resume normal operations following the crisis.

During Trudeau’s daily COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, he unveiled the federal government’s new online calculator that businesses can use to figure out how much money they might get through the CEWS.

All Canadian businesses — large or small, for-profit or non-profit — can apply to the program. They must be able to show a loss of revenue of 15% for March, rather than the previously announced 30% mark, to qualify. If approved, they could receive 75% of the wages of their employees, up to a maximum of $847 a week per employee, paid by the federal government for up to 12 weeks.

Businesses will also have the option of comparing March revenue to those in January and February 2020, rather than last year, which will help start-ups and other businesses qualify.

While the federal government will pay 75% of an employee’s wage, Trudeau has told employers they are expected to pay as much of the remaining 25% of an employee’s wage as possible. The prime minister has also made it clear that any employer found attempting to abuse the program will face serious sanctions.

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