The House of Commons unanimously passed Bill C-14, A second Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19 (also known as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) (“CEWS”) and the government has a Revised Backgrounder.
When the employer applies for the CEWS it will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll. In order to expedite this process, the government has an online calculator which will allow the employer to determine these amounts and preview the amount of subsidy now.
The race will not go to the swiftest, according to the CRA, meaning that you don’t have to be sitting at your computer in the wee hours of the morning on April 27, 2020 refreshing the page when the application window opens at 6 a.m.. The reason is because applications received from April 27, 2020 to May 3, 2020 will be batch-processed at the same time on May 4, 2020 during a verification process.
Employers should set up a direct deposit account to expedite payment of the subsidy. Employers should expect to receive payment of the subsidy a few days later.
The CEWS is intended to get laid off employees back to work and/or avoid layoffs. As I’ve written before, employers are expected to make their best effort to top-up employees’ salaries to bring them to their pre-crisis levels and there are severe penalties for abusing the CEWS. Employers must keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees.