‘The re-designed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will ensure that more Canadian workers can count on the support they need to return to work as our economy safely re-opens’
Bill C-20 has received royal assent, allowing the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
The bill – An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures – provides eligible employers a gradually decreasing base subsidy.
This will help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold, according to the government.
The bill also:
- introduces a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis;
- ensures employers that have already made business decisions for July and Aug. that they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules;
- provide continuity rules to address circumstances where an employer purchased all or substantially all of another entity’s business assets;
- make the proposed amendments to the CEWS previously introduced in Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures.
“As we continue to safely restart the economy, many Canadian businesses and workers are continuing to face significant challenges and uncertainty. With the Royal Assent of Bill C-20, our government is once again showing workers and businesses that we have their back,” said Bill Morneau, minister of finance. “The re-designed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will ensure that more Canadian workers can count on the support they need to return to work as our economy safely re-opens.”
Bill C-20 will also allow for the sharing of information to facilitate the delivery of a one-time payment for persons with disabilities. Currently, the government is moving forward with a non-taxable and non-reportable payment of up to $600 to approximately 1.7 million eligible individuals who:
- are holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate;
- currently receive Canada Pension Plan disability benefits or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits; or
- are in receipt of disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.
Eligible persons not yet in possession of such a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will be able to apply for one up to 60 days after today’s Royal Assent to be considered for the one-time payment, according to the government.
“Our Government recognizes that persons with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Last month, we announced a one-time, tax-free payment of $600 that will help Canadians with disabilities with extraordinary expenses incurred during the pandemic,” said Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion.
“Today’s Royal Assent means 1.7 million Canadians with disabilities will be eligible for this one-time, tax-free payment. We will continue to work closely with the disability community to ensure Canadians with disabilities and their families are supported through the pandemic, the restart and the economic recovery.”
In April, workers’ union Unifor called on the federal government to close a loophole in Bill C-14 that will allow unethical employers using “scab” labour to qualify for the CEWS.