Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

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This page was last updated on November 9, 2020.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) subsidizes the cost of employee remuneration for employers that have been impacted by COVID-19.  The program opened for applications on April 27, 2020 and is available for periods beginning March 15, 2020. 

To be eligible for the program, an employer must have experienced a decline in revenue when comparing their revenues for the month in 2020 to the same month in 2019 (e.g. March 2020 to March 2019). Alternatively, the program also allows employers to choose to compare their revenues for the month in 2020 to the average monthly revenue earned in January and February 2020.

The revenue decline required to be eligible for the program was 15% for March 2020 and 30% for April, May, and June 2020.  For July 2020 and later months, employers who have experienced any decline in revenue may be eligible for the subsidy.  Employers can use either a cash or an accrual basis to calculate their revenues for purposes of the program. 

The rules for determining whether an employer is eligible and the amount of subsidy available under the program are complex and differ for different periods.  For more details on the program, see here.