Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

On July 27, 2020, the Federal Government made significant changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, which we call CEWS 2.0 The legislation, passed into law on July 27, 2020, enhances eligibility to the program until at least November 21, 2020 (likely to be extended to December 31, 2020) and allows eligible employers with any reduction in revenue to obtain the wage subsidy.

Details of CEWS 2.0 can be found here. As you can see, CEWS 2.0 is horrifically complicated.

The changes can be summarized as follows:

  • The subsidy is based on the percentage decrease in revenue, with those experiencing the greatest decrease in revenue being entitled to the greatest subsidy
  • There is no longer a minimum revenue decrease (e.g. 30%) required to qualify
  • The maximum support available is gradually reduced between July and October 2020
  • CEWS 2.0 includes a base subsidy and a top-up subsidy
  • There are rules for Periods 5 and 6 (July 5 – August 29, 2020) (Safe Harbour Rule) such that a company with a decrease in revenue of at least 30% will not receive less than what they were entitled to receive under the original CEWS program

We have worked through several wage subsidy calculations and have purchased a robust (and expensive) template to help navigate through all of the permutations and help optimize the subsidy amount. Because of the different options and elections in, for example, how to calculate revenues, which baseline remuneration to use, etc, this tool is critical in obtaining the highest subsidy amount. If you would like assistance in calculating the wage subsidy, please contact us.