Federal Wage and Rent Subsidies to Remain Unchanged Until June


OTTAWA — The federal government has announced plans to extend the current rate structures for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and Lockdown Support from March 14 to June 5, 2021.

As a result, the maximum CEWS rate for active employees would remain at 75 per cent; the maximum CERS rate would remain at 65 per cent; and Lockdown Support would remain at 25 per cent and continue to be provided in addition to the rent subsidy — providing eligible hard-hit businesses with rent support of up to 90 per cent.

“Workers and businesses have showed incredible resilience over the past year, especially through this difficult winter, and today’s announcement makes clear that they can continue to rely on their government to be there for them, every step of the way,” says Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. “With variants in Canada and many regions still under lockdown, we are giving workers and businesses the certainty they need that strong government support will be there to get them through this crisis and ensure they come out strong.”

With regard to furloughed employees, the government intends to continue to align the wage-subsidy rate structure with the benefits provided through the Employment Insurance program from March 14 to June 5, 2021. This means employers who qualify for CEWS would be able to continue to claim up to a maximum benefit of $595 per week, per employee, to support remuneration of their furloughed workers.

Given that we are approaching a full year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has also announced that applicants will be able to continue to use a pre-pandemic 2019 reference month when demonstrated revenue declines, effective for the upcoming periods from March 14 to June 5, 2021.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ millions of hard-working Canadians. Our government introduced comprehensive emergency response programs, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and the Lockdown Support, so business owners and their workers have the support they need to bridge through the pandemic,” adds Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “These programs, combined with the incredible resilience of our small businesses, will ensure that we are set up for a strong economic recovery.”

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