On May 15, 2020, the Federal Government announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) would be extended to August 29, 2020, to continue supporting businesses across Canada as they weather the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This extends the CEWS for an additional 12 weeks past its initial June 6, 2020 deadline. The Federal Government also indicated it will consult with key business and labour representatives on potential adjustments to the CEWS program, such as adjusting the current 30% revenue loss eligibility threshold, to encourage businesses to grow as many begin the process of reopening their operations.
It was also announced that regulations to extend the eligibility for the CEWS to help more employers and their workers would be forthcoming. Retroactive to April 11 (i.e. to the first qualifying period starting March 15), these regulatory changes extend eligibility for the CEWS to the following groups:
- Partnerships that are up to 50% owned by non-eligible members;
- Indigenous government-owned businesses;
- Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations;
- Registered Journalism Organizations; and
- Non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.
The Federal Government also announced its intention to propose legislative amendments to the CEWS in order to:
- provide flexibility for employers of existing employees who were not regularly employed in early 2020, such as seasonal employees;
- ensure that the CEWS applies appropriately to corporations formed on the amalgamation of two predecessor corporations; and,
- better align the treatment of trusts and corporations for the purpose of determining CEWS eligibility.
Please see the Backgrounder for more details on the expanded eligibility requirements and the Federal Government’s proposed legislative amendments.
More information on the announced CEWS extension will be forthcoming.
Our firm will continue to provide you with updates as the Federal Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.