The CEWS was approved by the Canadian Parliament and Senate, making a 75% wage subsidy available for eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020
Employers may qualify for a base refund of up to 75% of pre-crisis salaries and wages for existing employees or 75% of salaries and wages for new employees (in both cases up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week), plus certain employer-paid payroll contributions, during the program.
To qualify for the CEWS, an employer must:
• Be an eligible entity such as:
- a corporation (other than a tax-exempt entity or “public institution”, such as a school or hospital) (note that this includes domestic as well as foreign (and foreign-controlled) corporations);
- an individual (note that this includes trusts);
- a registered charity (other than a public institution);
- a non-profit organization or other specified tax-exempt entity (other than a public institution); or
- a partnership each of whose members is an eligible entity as described above
• Have a revenue reduction of at least 15% in March 2020 and 30% in April and May 2020,
• Have had a CRA payroll program account on March 15, 2020, and
• Apply for the CEWS before October 1, 2020.
An eligible employee is any individual employed in Canada during a qualifying period, unless the employee was without pay for 14 or more consecutive days. Employees who do not deal at arm’s length with their employers can be consider “eligible employees”, but are subject to special rules.