'Extending the duration of the wage subsidy and broadening eligibility will help more workers and will better position Canada for economic recovery'
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the federal government has extended the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020.
“We have been listening to concerns raised by employers of all kinds, and we know that extending the duration of the wage subsidy and broadening eligibility will help more workers and will better position Canada for economic recovery,” says Bill Morneau, minister of finance. “This will allow more businesses and organizations to retain or rehire employees in order to be better positioned when the economy rebounds.”
Morneau also announced the approval of regulations to extend eligibility for the CEWS to additional sectors including:
- partnerships that are up to 50-per-cent owned by non-eligible members
- Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers
- registered Canadian amateur athletic associations
- registered journalism organizations
- non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.
The government also intends to propose legislative amendments to ensure that the CEWS continues to meet its objectives, including: providing flexibility for employers of existing employees who were not regularly employed in early 2020, such as seasonal employees; ensuring that the CEWS applies appropriately to corporations formed on the amalgamation of two predecessor corporations; and better aligning the treatment of trusts and corporations for the purpose of determining CEWS eligibility.
The government says it will consult with key business and labour representatives over the next month on potential adjustments to the program to incent jobs and growth, including the 30-per-cent revenue decline threshold.
The federal government started accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy on April 28, and more than half of small firms with employers said they will apply for the program, according to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.