COVID-19: Economic Relief Measures Announced to Date

For detailed information about this program, see our tax group’s “explainer”, here[18]. On April 21, 2020, the CRA provided general guidance concerning the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and a calculator for determining the subsidy amount for qualifying entities. The general guidance can be found here[19], and the calculator can be found here[20]. On April 27, 2020, the application for the CEWS was posted here[21]. On May 15 2020, the Government of Canada announced that the CEWS will be extended by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020, and that regulatory changes have been made to extend eligibility of the CEWS to additional categories of employers. The press release and backgrounder can be found here[22]. The Government of Canada announced on August 10, 2020 the release of an updated CEWS calculator to aid employers, the press release can be found here[23].

75% wage subsidy

  • On April 11, 2020, the Bill C-14, which proposed a few improvements to the CEWS, received Royal Assent. Briefly, the CEWS represents a government subsidy paid to eligible employers experiencing a 15% decrease in revenues in March, 2020 and 30% decrease in April and May, 2020. On May 15, 2020, the government also indicated that it “will consult with key business and labour representatives over the next month on potential adjustments to the program to incent jobs and growth, including the 30% revenue decline threshold”.
  • The CEWS provides a payment of up to 75% of the eligible remuneration normally paid by an eligible employer to eligible employees between March 15, 2020, and August 29, 2020 which is the greater of:
    • 75% of remuneration paid, up to a maximum of $847 per week; or
    • The amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75% of the employee’s “pre-crisis weekly remuneration” (based on the average weekly remuneration paid to a given employee between January 1 and March 15, 2020 inclusively, excluding any seven-day periods in respect of which the employee did not receive remuneration), whichever is less.

Essentially, the CEWS caps out for employees with annual salary remuneration above $58,700

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