COVID-19 Pandemic: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Peninsula Team

April 06 2020

* This article has been updated to include new changes as of May 19, 2020.

With the Coronavirus pandemic continuing to grow in Canada, the federal government has created the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, to help Canadian businesses retain employees through this challenging economic time. With this wage subsidy, the Canadian government will help cover the salary of employees, to prevent them from being laid off work.

The following information explains how the emergency wage subsidy benefits employers, how they can access it, and the timeline surrounding the subsidy.

How does the emergency wage subsidy work?

Businesses that qualify for the subsidy will have up to 75% of employees’ wages covered by the government–but this only applies to the first $58,700 worth of salary. This means businesses could receive a maximum of $847 per week.

This program will be in effect for a 24-week period. It is retroactive to March 15, 2020 and goes to August 29, 2020.

How do I know if I qualify for the emergency wage subsidy?

To qualify for the subsidy, businesses will need to prove they have seen a dip in revenue of at least 15% in the month of March, and then a loss of 30% for the following months. 

Prime Minister Trudeau has made it clear that this employer wage subsidy will be available to businesses of all sizes, including charities and non-profits (if they are not funded by the public).

Are you struggling with HR or employment law related issues in your business?

Our HR experts can help. Speak with one of our knowledgeable advisors today to find out your employer obligations and to ensure your business is operating in compliance with your provincial Employment Standards legislation. Call us today: 1(833)247-3652.

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