What is The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)?

The Canadian Government announced the launch of the $73 billion wage subsidy program Monday (April 27, 2020) to help businesses that have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. The program will cover up to 75% of wages for affected businesses of all sizes if they’ve experienced a drop of at least 30% in revenue. Businesses are now able to apply and if approved can start receiving payments as soon as May 7th.


As stated on Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) supports employers that are hardest hit by the pandemic, and protect the jobs Canadians depend on.

The subsidy generally covers 75% of an employee’s wages – up to $847 per week – for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.

The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

Employers who are eligible for the CEWS are entitled to receive a 100% refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay. 

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

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