Prime Minister Trudeau has provided further information regarding the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including updates to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) program.
The CEWS program has seen a number of adjustments since its original announcement, including a lower eligibility threshold for the March eligibility period and an alternative eligibility threshold to allow recently-formed businesses to qualify for subsidies. On April 21, 2020, the government launched a CEWS “calculator” on the CRA’s website to allow employers determine their eligibility and expected subsidy payments. Prime Minister Trudeau also announced that CEWS applications will open online on Monday, April 27, 2020. The CEWS will be processed at the payroll program (RP) account level, and employers will therefore be required to file a separate application for each RP account.
Canada’s President of the Treasury Board stated that the expectation is that 90 percent of all CEWS applications will be processed by May 5, 2020.
The Prime Minister also announced a $350 million emergency community support fund for community organizations, charities and non-profits. This fund will be provided to local organizations, as well as national organizations such as the United Way and the Red Cross. More details regarding this new program are expected in the coming days.
WeirFoulds’ employment law group is monitoring these developments and will be providing updates as the COVID-19 situation progresses. For more information on how to respond to COVID-19 in your workplace or organization, please contact one of our authors.
The information and comments herein are for the general information of the reader and are not intended as advice or opinion to be relied upon in relation to any particular circumstances. For particular application of the law to specific situations, the reader should seek professional advice.