Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Applications Open April 27

On April 11, 2020, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 (“Bill C-14”) received Royal Assent following an emergency session of Parliament. Our prior articles on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) can be reviewed here as well as here, which summarize the publicly announced details of the CEWS.

Options for Applying for the CEWS

Beginning April 27, 2020, employers will be able to apply for CEWS. Employers have the following three options for applying for the CEWS:

  • Applying using their existing CRA “My Business Account” log-in;
  • Having their lawyer apply using the existing CRA “Represent a Client” log-in; or
  • Apply using a separate online application form that will become available April 27, 2020 on the CRA’s website.

The CEWS will be processed at the payroll program account level, so employers with multiple payrolls with have to file separate applications for each account.

Employers are required to keep accurate records demonstrating their reduction in revenues and the remuneration paid to employees.

Steps Employers can take in Anticipation of April 27, 2020

In the meantime, employers can take steps to ensure they are prepared to apply for the CEWS when the application portal opens on April 27.  These steps include:

  • Registering for the CRA’s My Business Account (employers unable to register for a My Business Account should obtain an online web access code so they can apply using the separate application form)
  • Making sure your business details and direct deposit information for your payroll accounts are up to date so that CEWS payments can be easily processed.
  • Calculating the estimated CEWS amount for your business. Employers should ensure their calculations are accurate, as they will be required to re-pay any amounts they received if they miscalculate their CEWS entitlement. The CEWS provides two options for how an employer can calculate the subsidy. The maximum benefit payable is calculated under (i) or (ii) below, whichever is greater:

(i) 75% of the eligible remuneration paid to an eligible employee, up to $847 per week; or,

(ii) the lesser of:

a) 100% of eligible remuneration paid to an eligible employee, up to $847 per week

b) 75% of an eligible employee’s pre-crisis remuneration (based on the average weekly remuneration paid between January 1, 2020 and March 15, 2020, excluding any 7-day period during which the employee did not receive remuneration), up to $847 per week.

  • If you are expecting a payment of $25 million or more, make sure you are enrolled in the CRA’s large value transfer system (“LVTS”).

For more information on this article, please contact Ilan BurkesSari Wiens, Nicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.

Note to our Readers: Information regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. We are working to bring you up-to-date articles as the legal issues develop and to keep our previous posts updated. Given that the legal issues related to COVID-19 are constantly changing, if you are looking for legal advice or are dealing with an issue in relation to COVID-19, please contact your Harris lawyer or a member of our COVID-19 response team: Sari Wiens, Ilan BurkesNicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.

To read our most recent articles and other updates on COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.