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Canada: Repayment of employee benefits under emergency response benefit program (COVID-19)

Canada: Repayment of employee benefits

Employers that set up a “supplementary unemployment benefit” plan with Service Canada (the program operated by Employment and Social Development Canada) to provide additional amounts to employees temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic need to notify employees that they will probably have to repay any amounts received under the Canada emergency response benefit measures.


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Service Canada has clarified that supplementary unemployment benefit plan payments of more than $1,000* in a benefit period will disqualify an employee from collecting the Canada emergency response benefits (CERB). The payments would have been allowed under the employment insurance rules to “top up” employees’ employment insurance benefits. As a result, employers that have already made payments of more than $1,000 need to advise employees that they must repay CERB amounts that have been received for the same benefit period.

Read a May 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Canada

*$ = Canadian dollar

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