Enhancements to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) have been approved – does your business qualify under the CEWS new rules?

On July 27, 2020, Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, received Royal Assent. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off. The amendments to the CEWS program will be in effect for the remainder of the year.

The broader and better targeted CEWS will make sure that Canadian workers and businesses are in a better position as our economy safely re-opens. Many businesses that were not previously eligible to receive the CEWS may now receive a portion of CEWS. In addition, businesses with severely impacted revenues may receive an additional Top-Up Subsidy.

Summary of Key Changes introduced in Bill C-20

  • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details from July 5, 2020 until November 21, 2020.
  • Make the subsidy more accessible to a broader range of employers by providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues (30% revenue decrease criteria is not relevant under the new regime). Financial support provided by the new CEWS regime  applies on a sliding scale dependent on the exact revenue decline.
  • Businesses now have the option to use the previous month’s revenue as a reference for revenue decline.
  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This will be particularly helpful to employers in industries that are recovering more slowly. With this top-up, the highest possible subsidy amount per employee is $960 per week (calculated on a maximum remuneration per employee of $1,129 per week).
  • A “Safe Harbour” provision that enables employers to receive the same subsidy amount for July and August (Periods 5 and 6) as they would have under the previous rules if the new rules result in a lower subsidy.

While the new CEWS regime becomes more accessible to a wider range of businesses, the CEWS program has become considerably more complex. If you have any questions about how the new Wage Subsidy or Top-Up Subsidy may impact you or your business, please be sure to contact us!

Click here for information related to this new change.

Click here for in formation regarding CEWS frequently asked questions. This information will continue to get updated for the new rules.

Receive tax alerts, latest news and events delivered to your inbox.