Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, received Royal Assent on July 27, 2020. Please see our previously published article summarizing notable changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program here.
On July 17, 2020, the federal government announced that it would extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program (“CEWS”) until December of 2020, and proposed several significant changes that will, among other things, allow more employers to access subsidies.
On July 20, 2020, the federal government introduced Bill C-20, An Act respecting further…
On May 15, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) will be extended for an additional 12-week period to August 29, 2020. At the same time, the government announced retroactive regulatory changes, and legislative proposals expected to come into force at a later date. These changes were introduced in an effort to promote employment and stimulate economic recovery as restrictions are gradually lifted across Canada.
Immediate Changes to CEWS Eligibility:
The government introduced a series of regulations extending eligibility for the CEWS to the following categories of employers:
- Partnerships with one or more non-eligible members will be eligible so long as non-eligible entity partners control a minority of the partnership’s interests at fair market value during the qualifying period;
- Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business and are tax-exempt under paragraph 149(1)(d.5) of the Income Tax Act, their wholly-owned subsidiaries that are carrying on a business and are tax-exempt under paragraph 149(1)(d.6) of the Income Tax Act, as well as partnerships where the partners are members of Indigenous governments and eligible employers;
- Non-public education and training institutions, including for-profit and non-profit private colleges, schools, and institutions (i.e., arts schools, language schools, driving schools, flight schools and culinary schools);
- National-level Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations that are tax-exempt under paragraph 149(1)(g) of the Income Tax Act; and
- Registered Journalism Organizations that are tax-exempt under paragraph 149(1)(h) of the Income Tax Act.
This is an update to our recent blog post summarizing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”). You can find the first part of our post, which summarizes the government’s original announcement, here.
On April 11, 2020, the federal government passed Bill C-14, amending the Income Tax Act to create the CEWS. The subsidy provides financial support to eligible employers for wages paid to eligible employees for the period from March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020 (divided into three qualifying periods), subject to a possible extension up to September 30, 2020.
Q: How does the program work?
A: For each qualifying period, an eligible employer can claim, from the government, a capped wage subsidy for remuneration paid to each eligible employee.
On April 1, 2020, the Canadian government provided further details about its plan to help Canadian employers by providing a 3-month, 75% wage subsidy, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
Parliament will likely soon be recalled to consider, debate, and pass legislation to create the wage subsidy program. For now, the preliminary plan for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is as follows:
- The subsidy will be 75% of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees, or a maximum benefit of $847 per week, per employee. There is no limit on the amount that employers can claim, although entitlement will be based on the actual wages paid to employees.
- Employers of all sizes will be eligible to participate, provided they meet the remaining criteria. As a result, the program will be available to sole proprietors, taxable corporations, and partnerships. Special rules are expected for employees who do not deal at arm’s length with the employer. Public sector entities will be excluded from the program, but it is unclear if the program will apply to “quasi-public” or “broader public” sector employers who receive a small percentage of funding from the government.