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On April 11, 2020, the federal government implemented the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”). The CEWS was designed to enable employers to keep their employees on payroll while contributing to a smoother transition to post-COVID-19 operations.

Initially, under this program, eligible employers could receive a subsidy of up to 75% of their employees’ wages for up to twelve (12) weeks from March 15 to June 6, 2020. The federal government has now extended the CEWS for an additional twenty-four (24) weeks to November 21, 2020. Furthermore, the government is proposing that the wage subsidy be extended to June 2021.

There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for CEWS, including demonstrating a loss of revenue. Employers must be able to demonstrate that each employee is entitled to the subsidy and that they meet CRA payroll requirements.

Eligible employers must specifically demonstrate that they have met the requirements of an “eligible revenue reduction”, which can be calculated by comparing the eligible revenue (i.e., reduced revenue) with their baseline revenue.

Specifically, employers will need to demonstrate a reduction in their revenues using the appropriate baseline in accordance with the claim period. The wage subsidy and the qualifying requirements are modified throughout the various claim periods.

If you are an employer and you are looking to determine avenues to consider prior to layoffs or terminations, or if you have any other employment-related questions amidst the COVID-19 era, please contact Toronto employment lawyers, Sultan Lawyers, at (416) 214-5111 or via email to mlahert@sultanlawyers.com.