Federal Government implements increase to maximum subsidy rate under Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

December 22, 2020 | Lisa Goodfellow, Michael Cleveland

In its Fall Economic Statement, the federal government committed to increasing the maximum CEWS wage subsidy rate to 75%. On December 18, 2020, the federal government announced (see news release) that it had concluded the necessary regulatory changes to implement this change. This increase applies for the following periods:

  • 11 (December 20, 2020 to January 16, 2021),
  • 12 (January 16 to February 13, 2021), and
  • 13 (February 14 to March 13, 2021).

Prior to this adjustment, the maximum combined base subsidy rate was set at 65%. The government has increased the top-up portion of the wage subsidy to 35%, while the base subsidy remains at 40%. The required revenue decline to receive the full subsidy amount is 70%.

Additionally, to ensure the continued alignment of benefits for furloughed employees with benefits available under Employment Insurance, the maximum weekly subsidy amount for furloughed workers will increase to $595 for the above-noted periods.

As has been the case from Period 8 onwards, this maximum wage subsidy rate can be accessed based on a single month’s revenue decline, rather than requiring employers to demonstrate three months of revenue decline.

The program is slated to operate until June 2021.

UPDATE:  On December 21, as part of its commitment to transparency, the federal government announced the launch of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Registry.  This web page identifies which employers are using the wage subsidy to support jobs.  If an employer believes it has been listed in error, it can contact the CRA at 1-800-959-5525.

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