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COVID-19: Further Details On Federal Government’s Wage Subsidy Program

By Ryley Mennie + Connor Levy + Sowgol Torani - April 6, 2020 under MT+Co.

This is a live blog, meaning we’ll update this blog as more details are available regarding the Federal government’s wage subsidy program.  Stay tuned!

Following up on our earlier blog, new details have emerged concerning the Federal government’s announcement of up to a 75% wage subsidy for qualifying organizations, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

While a comprehensive plan is not yet in place, we now know that the wage subsidy will be available to all Canadian businesses, non-profits and registered charities.  In order to qualify, a business will be required to demonstrate a 30% or greater decrease in gross revenue for either March, April or May compared to the same month in 2019.  If so, they will be eligible for coverage of up to 75% of wages on the first $58,700 an employee earns, to a maximum of $847 per week, for up to a 12 week period, commencing March 15 and ending June 6, 2020.  Organizations must reapply for the subsidy each month.  It is not yet clear how the subsidy may apply to businesses that were not operational in March-May 2019.

The government has reiterated that the driving force behind the subsidy is to encourage employers to keep employees on payroll, or rehire employees who have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The government has also stressed that employers who qualify for the subsidy are expected to make best efforts to cover the remaining 25% of employees’ salaries.

Timing

Applications for the wage subsidy will become available through a Canada Revenue Agency portal in the next 3 to 6 weeks.

Don’t Qualify?

For those businesses who do not qualify for the 75% wage subsidy, the Federal government’s previously announced 10% wage subsidy is still available for those who are eligible.

Want More?

We will continue to keep you updated as more details emerge.  The Government of Canada website provides Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers that may be useful.  If you have any questions about your workplace and managing responses to COVID-19, feel free to contact Ryley Mennie, Lou Poskitt or Connor Levy from our Workplace Law Group.



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