COVID-19: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Update

May 8, 2020 /

We’re keeping up! Further changes have been made by the Federal Government. Get the information here. (last updated July 22, 2020)

Update – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

On April 27, 2020, applications opened for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”).  The CEWS is an initiative introduced by the Government of Canada to provide an incentive to businesses of all sizes (excluding public companies) to re-hire or maintain their workforce.


The CEWS covers 75% of an employee’s wages on the first $58,700 an employee earns, up to a maximum of $847 per employee per week.  Employers may also claim a 100% refund on employer-paid contributions like EI, CPP, QPP, and QPIP made on behalf of eligible employees who are on leave with full or partial pay for any full week in the claim period, and for which the employer is eligible to claim CEWS.

To qualify for the CEWS, businesses must have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue during the applicable benefit periods.

Originally, three benefits periods were established for the CEWS: March (March 15 – April 11), April (April 12 – May 9), and May (May 10 – June 6) 2020.

The Federal Government announced last week that they would be extending the CEWS beyond the third benefit period. Earlier today, the Government clarified that the CEWS will be extended until the end of August 2020.

The Federal Government also announced that the CEWS will now be available to a wider array of entities, including Indigenous government-owned corporations, amateur athletic associates and non-public colleges and schools.

Application Notes 

Before applying for CEWS, businesses should ensure their business details and direct deposit information for payroll accounts are up to date, and calculate the estimated wage subsidy.  The subsidy is taxable and must be included in revenue for the applicable reporting period.  There are three different ways to apply for the CEWS; for specific application information, we encourage you to visit their page on how to apply.

Want More?

We will continue to keep you updated on legislative responses to the impacts of COVID-19. 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.