Details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS) program, which helps employers retain and pay new and existing employees.
Latest Update - September 23rd, 2020: CEWS to be extended until summer, 2021.
Latest Update - August 21st, 2020: CEWS to be extended until November 21st, 2020, plus eligibility expanded. Eligible employers who had any drop in revenue can now qualify for the wage subsidy, starting with the claim periods that began July 5th, 2020.
Summary of Changes to CEWS
- A wider range of employers can now qualify, including sole proprietorships and taxable corporations, certain Indigenous government-owned corporations, non profit organizations, partnerships consisting of 50% or more eligible employers, and registered charities
- All eligible employers who’ve experienced a revenue drop can now qualify for a base subsidy. Your subsidy amount is based on your revenue drop
- Employers who are especially hard-hit can qualify for a top-up of up to 25%
- You can calculate your revenue drop in different ways
- If your revenue drop is 30% or more in Periods 5 and 6 (July – August) you are entitled to a CEWS rate of at least 75%
What is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)?
CEWS is designed to help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. It provides a subsidy of 75% of eligible remuneration, paid by an eligible employer to each eligible employee – up to a maximum of $847 per week, retroactive to March 15th, 2020.
- From March 15th, 2020 to July 4th, 2020, eligible employers that see a drop of at least 15% of their qualifying revenue in March 2020 and 30% for the following months of April, May and June, when compared to their qualifying revenue for the same period in 2019, qualify for the wage subsidy.
- From July 5th, 2020 to November 21st, 2020, the wage subsidy is available for all eligible employers that experience a decline in revenue for a claim period, with a base subsidy amount, and an additional top-up subsidy amount for those employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
See Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - Frequently Asked Questions for full details of the changes to eligibility and how to calculate your subsidy.
Who is Eligible?
CEWS is available to qualifying businesses, charities and not-for-profit organizations that have experienced an eligible decline in revenue due to COVID-19. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.
CEWS will run until November 21st, 2020. On September 23rd, 2020, the Government of Canada announced it would be further extended until some time in summer, 2021.
- Period 1: March 15, 2020 to April 11, 2020
- Period 2: April 12, 2020 to May 9, 2020
- Period 3: May 10, 2020 to June 6, 2020
- Period 4: June 7, 2020 to July 4, 2020
- Period 5: July 5, 2020 to August 1, 2020
- Period 6: August 2, 2020 to August 29, 2020
- Period 7: August 30, 2020 to September 26, 2020
- Period 8: September 27, 2020 to October 24th, 2020
- Period 9: October 25th, 2020 to November 21st, 2020
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
- CEWS Application Guide
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - Frequently Asked Questions
- Calculate your subsidy amount
- WorkSafeBC waives premiums for employers receiving CEWS subsidies
Frequently Asked Questions About CEWS
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.
Can an eligible employer claim the wage subsidy in respect of an eligible employee who has received payments under the CERB?
Yes, in certain situations, an eligible employer may be eligible to claim the wage subsidy in respect of an eligible employee who has received payments under the CERB program. However, where an individual has not been paid any remuneration from the eligible employer in respect of a period of 14 or more consecutive days in a claim period, the individual will not qualify as an eligible employee for that period of employment. Therefore, the eligible employer will not be eligible for the wage subsidy in respect of that employee for that claim period.
The onus is on the eligible employer to ensure that an employee, who has not been paid eligible remuneration in respect of 14 or more consecutive days in a claim period, is not included for that claim period. However, it is the employee's responsibility to determine their eligibility for the CERB for any period.
Where an employee has received a CERB payment from the CRA 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 return or repay the CERB payment. For more details, please refer to Return or repay on the Apply for CERB web page.