Yes. Letting an employee go now doesn’t preclude you from hiring them again.
It's important to recognize that COVID-19 may not be "over" any time soon. As businesses start reopening under the BC Restart Plan, we all face a "new normal." Part of that means finding ways to retain employees, and rehire employees initially let go when COVID-19 hit.
The Government of Canada has introduced several programs to help businesses through COVID-19 that may allow you to retain employees or rehire them sooner than you might have thought.
Can an eligible employer claim the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for an employee that the employer has hired back and pays retroactively?
Yes. It is possible for an eligible employer to hire back eligible employees and pay them retroactively in respect of a claim period, to be able to qualify for the wage subsidy.
Further, if such an employee has received a Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payment from the CRA for a claim period, and it is later determined that they are no longer eligible for the CERB, whether due to the employment or otherwise the employee is required to repay the CERB payment. There are ways for the employee to return or repay the CERB amount. For more details on repayment, please refer to Return or repay on the Apply for CERB web page.