The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides employers with 75% of annual earnings up to $847 per week per employee for up to 12 weeks retroactive to March 15th.
On Wednesday April 8, Prime Minister Trudeau announced several important changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program that will help more businesses access funding:
• A business will now be able to compare its revenue to the same month last year OR an average of January and February 2020. This will help new and growing firms who may not have qualified based on a comparison to the same month in 2019.
• A business needs only to demonstrate a 15% reduction in gross revenues for March. A 30% reduction will still be required to receive the subsidy in April and May.
• The program will now allow businesses to use either accrual or cash accounting methods.
• Employer paid Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premiums will be reimbursed.
• Registered charities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible employers to apply for the wage subsidy. They also have the choice of whether or not to include government funding in their revenue calculations.
On Saturday April 11, a new piece of legislation was introduced to further modify the CEWS. COVID-19 Emergency Response Act. No. 2 proposes that employers found eligible for a certain period would automatically qualify for the next period of the subsidy. For example, an employer with a revenue drop of more than 15% in March would qualify for the first and second periods of the program, covering remuneration paid between March 15 and May 9. Similarly, an employer with a revenue drop of 30% in April would qualify for the second and third periods of the program, covering remuneration paid between May 10 to June 6.