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Canada: Enhancements to employee wage subsidy for affected employers (COVID-19)

Canada: Enhancements to employee wage subsidy

The Department of Finance has provided more details of the “Canada emergency wage subsidy”—a program intended to help businesses retain employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


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Changes to the program announced on 8 April 2020 include:

  • Employers will only have to show that they have experienced a 15% reduction in revenue in March 2020 to claim the subsidy (instead of a 30% reduction).
  • Employers can choose to use an average of revenue for January 2020 and February 2020 to compare to their revenue for March, April, and May 2020 (instead of the equivalent month from 2019).

The government also announced that: (1) the government will offer additional flexibility for the revenue loss calculation to registered charities and non-profit organizations; and (2) employers eligible for the emergency wage subsidy will be entitled to receive a 100% refund for certain employer-paid contributions made for employment insurance, the Canada pension plan, the Quebec pension plan, and the Quebec parental insurance plan.

Legislation to enact the Canada emergency wage subsidy has not been released, but is expected soon.

Read an April 2020 report [PDF 206 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Canada

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