Small Businesses and Employers:
Enhanced Flexibility announced for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Reduced March qualification criteria and more flexibility for charities and businesses
On April 8, 2020, the federal government announced changes to the Canada Wage Subsidy (CEWS) that is proposed to help employers keep Canadians on the payroll with a 75% wage subsidy from the federal government – for up to $58,700 normally earned by employees. It’s a benefit of up to $847 per week, per employee.
Employers of all sizes and sectors would be eligible, but we know small business are hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID-19. CEWS is proposed to be in place to cover the 12 week period of March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020.
To help the not-for-profit sector, new businesses and high growth companies access CEWS, the following changes to criteria were announced that add flexibility:
• For March 2020, a 15% revenue loss will be the new benchmark to qualify – recognizing that many businesses did not begin to feel the impact of the COVID-19 crisis until part way through the month. For April and May the revenue reduction test will remain at 30% to qualify for CEWS.
• For flexibility, employers will be able to compare their revenue of March, April and May 2020 to the same month in 2019, or to an average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020.
• Accrual accounting or cash accounting methods can be used to measure revenue
• The proposed changes make it easier for Registered charities and not-for-profit organizations. They can choose to include or exclude government funding in their revenues for the purposes of applying for CEWS.