CERB and CEWS: What Employers Need to Know About Canada’s Income Support Programs

May 22, 2020

In response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Canada has created two programs to provide income support for affected workers. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will play critical roles in supporting Canadian workers in the weeks and months to come. Employers facing significant declines in revenue are looking to the CEWS program, in particular, to allow them to continue to pay employees even when their workplaces are shuttered.

On April 13, 2020, two days after the passage of Bill C-14 establishing the CEWS, the Stikeman Elliott Employment and Labour group published detailed FAQs on the CERB and CEWS programs. The FAQs are designed to help employers understand how these initiatives could help them and their workers weather the COVID-19 storm and will be updated as further developments occur.

Update (May 22, 2020)

The FAQs relating to the CEWS have been updated to provide further details regarding how to apply for the CEWS as well as further information about an announcement made by the Government of Canada on May 15, 2020, regarding:

  • An extension of the duration of the CEWS program to August 29, 2020;
  • A proposed consultation process with key stakeholders regarding further amendments to the CEWS (including the 30% revenue decline threshold); and

The introduction of regulations extending the scope of the employers that are eligible to claim the CEWS.

DISCLAIMER: This publication is intended to convey general information about legal issues and developments as of the indicated date. It does not constitute legal advice and must not be treated or relied on as such. Please read our full disclaimer at www.stikeman.com/legal-notice.

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