While detailed information on federal and provincial programs is slowly being clarified, some additional information came out yesterday on two key programs. Here is a quick reference guide for you. We are including links to help access information, applications and updates:
This week’s topics for you:
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- Canada Revenue portals
- BC Coronavirus update links
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
This wage subsidy aims to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis. While the Government has designed the proposed wage subsidy to provide generous and timely financial support to employers, it was done with the expectation that employers will do their part by using the subsidy in a manner that supports the health and well-being of their employees.
Eligible employers would include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non‑profit organizations and registered charities. Public bodies would not be eligible for this subsidy.
This subsidy would be available to eligible employers that see a drop of at least 30 per cent of their revenue. In applying for the subsidy, employers would be required to attest to the decline in revenue.
The subsidy amount for a given employee on eligible remuneration paid between March 15 and June 6, 2020 would be the greater of:
- 75 per cent of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
- the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.
Further guidance with respect to how to define pre-crisis weekly remuneration for a given employee will be provided in the coming days.
In effect, employers may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 100 per cent of the first 75 per cent of pre-crisis wages or salaries of existing employees. These employers would be expected where possible to maintain existing employees’ pre-crisis employment earnings.
Employers will also be eligible for a subsidy of up to 75 per cent of salaries and wages paid to new employees.
Eligible remuneration may include salary, wages, and other remuneration. These are amounts for which employers would generally be required to withhold or deduct amounts to remit to the Receiver General on account of the employee’s income tax obligation. However, it does not include severance pay, or items such as stock option benefits or the personal use of a corporate vehicle.
The eligible periods are as follows:
Period 1 Claim period: March 15 – April 11 Eligibility reference: March 2020 vs March 2019
Period 2 April 12 – May 9 April 2020 vs April 2019
Period 3 May 10 – June 6 May 2020 vs May 2019
Eligible employers would be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal (see below) as well as a web-based application. Employers would have to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees. More details about the application process will be made available shortly.
Interaction with the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit
An employer would not be eligible to claim the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid to an employee in a week that falls within a 4-week period for which the employee is eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.
Employers who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would still be able to furlough employees who will receive up to $2,000 a month.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The CERB will be available to workers:
- residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
- who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits;
- who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
- who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.
The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid and there is no waiting period.
Payments will be made through direct deposit or by cheque. An employee will be paid more quickly if they choose direct deposit.
The Benefit is taxable although tax will not be deducted at source. The employee will be expected to report the Benefit as income when they file income tax for the 2020 tax year.
If you have an employee who has stopped working because of COVID-19, they should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, whether or not they are eligible for Employment Insurance. The Benefit is available for the period from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020 and can be applied for no later than December 2, 2020.
If an employee has applied for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, their claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. In addition, for other EI benefits, including maternity, parental, caregiving, fishing and work-sharing, they should also continue to apply. Workers who remain attached to their company can receive the Benefit.
A worker must have stopped working as a result of COVID-19, and be without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period. For subsequent periods, they expect to have no employment income.
A worker can also apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if they are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits.
Canada Revenue Portals
Select the service you would like to log in / register for.
Access your own information:
Access your business information:
- Business owners
- Directors/trustees on a board
- Officers of a non-profit organization
Access someone else’s business or individual information, including your employer:
- Tax and payroll service providers
- Legal representatives (power of attorneys, trustees, etc.)
- Family and friends
BC Coronavirus update links:
Our team at TallSky Consulting is here to support all of your HR requirements and we share your desire to enhance and protect the health and well-being of our communities and workplaces.
Please feel free to contact us for assistance or support by email or phone at any time. Stay healthy, stay connected and let’s all work together to support our teams, local businesses and our communities.
DISCLAIMER: The information is provided as general information on these topics, and given the rapidly evolving environment, they may not be relevant with recent updates or changes on the topic. These materials are not meant to be a substitute for specific legal advice. Please do not rely solely upon this information for making decisions regarding employees in your workplace.