During the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of employers have relied on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to support their operations. Last week, the Government passed changes that will now enable more employers to receive support under the program, which is now extended to Nov. 21. Read on to learn how your business will be affected.
What is the CEWS?
The CEWS provides a 75% employee wage subsidy for up to 24 weeks to Canadian employers whose business has been affected by COVID-19. Eligible employers are those that experienced a 15% decrease in revenues from March 15 to April 11, or 30% from April 12 to May 9, May 10 to June 6, or June 7 to July 4. Wages covered are capped at $847 per week per employee, but there is no limit on the number of eligible employees for which an employer can apply.
Most employers are eligible under this program, with the exception of public institutions, which are not eligible.
To date, the jobs of about 3 million employees have been supported through CEWS.
On July 17, Finance Minister Bill Morneau proposed changes that would broaden the program’s reach. These changes include:
- Extending the CEWS until Nov. 21, with a possible extension to Dec. 31;
- Providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all qualifying employers, including those that have seen a revenue decline of less than 30%;
- Introducing a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers that have seen a 50%+ decline in revenues for three months;
- Increasing the maximum subsidy available for businesses with higher revenue declines from $847 to $960 per employee; and
- Gradually decreasing the maximum subsidy amount in September.
These changes mean that any qualifying employer with a revenue decline, regardless of its percentage, will be eligible.
When will these changes come into force?
The proposed changes received royal assent on July 27 and have therefore been enacted into law. However, the Government’s website had not yet been updated to reflect these changes as of Monday morning. Applications can still be filled on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.
Looking for additional funding to support your operations? Try Fundsearch today.