COVID-19

New benefits to replace CERB

On October 2, 2020, Bill C-4, An Act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19 received Royal Assent. Bill C-4 enacts the Canada Response Benefits Act, which creates three new benefits to replace the CERB, which is no longer available as of September 26, 2020. Bill C-4 also amends the Canada Labour Code to provide for job-protected leaves for employees in federally-regulated workplaces who cannot work for reasons related to COVID-19.

The Canada Response Benefits Act creates three new benefits, which will be in place for one year beginning September 27, 2020:

  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (“CRSB”): $500.00 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments, or have contracted other sicknesses that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. Canadians can apply for the CRSB through the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) starting October 5, 2020.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (“CRCB”): $500.00 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because they are sick and/or required to quarantine, are at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19, or because schools, daycares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19. Canadians can apply for the CRCB through the CRA starting October 5, 2020.
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (“CRB”): $500.00 per week for up to 26 weeks for people who have stopped working and are not eligible for Employment Insurance, or had their employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. Canadians can apply for the CRB through the CRA starting October 12, 2020.

Bill C-4 also amends the Canada Labour Code to provide employees in federally-regulated workplaces with job-protected leaves of absence which correspond to the above benefits, including:

  • Up to two weeks’ leave if the employee is unable to work because they contracted COVID-19, have self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments, or have contracted other sicknesses that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
  • Up to 26 weeks’ leave if the employee is unable to work because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or a family member because they are sick and/or required to quarantine, are at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19, or because schools, daycares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19.

If you have questions, please contact Sari Wiens, Ilan BurkesNicole 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.

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