Webinar Provides Lawyer’s Perspective on CERB and Wage Subsidies

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TORONTO — Restaurants Canada recently hosted a webinar focused on navigating the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program.

Roberto Sarjoo, director, Marketing & Communications, Restaurants Canada, moderated the discussion, which saw Mike MacLellan, partner, CCPartners LLP, provide insights on these programs and the latest updates to them.

Applications for the CERB opened on April 6, allowing those who qualify to apply through an online form or automated phone process. The application process doesn’t require a Record of Employment (ROE).

MacLellan stressed that the CERB is now intended to cover all loss-of-work related to COVID-19, even for those who qualify for Employment Insurance (EI). He also noted there’s no need for those waiting for EI applications to be processed to apply for the CERB because these applications will be automatically transferred to the CERB program.

And, while the program doesn’t cover all cases — such as post-secondary students who aren’t currently working, but rely on jobs during the summer for income — MacLellan noted the federal government has already indicated that some adjustments will be made to the program to fill these gaps.

Discussing the wage subsidies, MacLellan noted that because the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has not yet been legislated and is still evolving, there are still questions to be answered. However, he clarified that the 75-per-cent subsidy (up to $847 per week) will be applied to the amount of remuneration paid to each employee and that there is no limit on the number of employees per business that it can be applied to.

A recording of the webinar is available at restaurantscanada.org.

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