Canadian COVID-19 Relief: Temporary Wage Subsidy For Employers

The government continues to release information on how businesses and individuals can access the financial assistance being produced for all of us financially impacted by COVID-19.

Details on how to access the Temporary Wage Subsidy for employers can be found here.

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that the Government is considering to introduce a wage subsidy of 75 per cent for qualifying businesses to support in these difficult economic times. The subsidy will be valid for up to 3 months, starting March 15. This step is taken to support businesses that are hugely impacted by COVID-19 and would help protect jobs in Canada.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, announced the details of the proposed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.
  • Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances. The government is also considering adding support for non-profits and charities, particularly those involved in the front line response to COVID-19. Further details will be announced in the near term.
  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make the best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.

Find detailed info regarding the wage subsidy here.

Small businesses, charities, and not-for-profits may immediately begin reducing their remittances made for employees by 10% of each employee’s remittance to a maximum of $1,375/employee and an aggregate maximum of $25,000.  The reduction is applicable for payrolls made between March 18 and June 20, 2020. Please ask us if there are any questions on how to apply this subsidy.

Precise guidance has not been provided for partnerships though CRA has specified that groups of associated businesses do not need to share the $25,000 Temporary Wage Subsidy.

**If you are using a payroll processor such as ADP or Ceridian, you may be told that those companies will not process any relief reductions until Parliament passes this law. CRA is, however, proceeding to administer the guidance above.

Since this article was posted, the government has introduced more details on the program. Check this link for updated info.

If you have questions about any of these or other measures for your business to weather the COVID-19 storm, please reach out to your Sloan contact or our general number at 416-665-7735.

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