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CHANGES TO THE CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDIES (CEWS) 

The federal government has recently announced a change to the calculation for the 75% wage subsidy. It has also been expanded to include payroll contribution refunds in some cases.

Originally, a business had to prove a drop in March 2020 revenue compared to March, 2019. Businesses now have the option to choose the original year-over-year comparison, OR an average of revenues in January and February, 2020. 

This new option is beneficial for high-growth businesses, such as start-ups, or businesses who experienced difficulties in 2019. 

It is important to note once a business has chosen which method to use for the calculation, you must continue using that method for the duration of the CEWS program.

CEWS will be divided into three periods:

Period 1: March 15 to April 11

Period 2: April 12 to May 9

Period 3: May 10 to June 6

Period 1 now only requires a 15% drop in revenue to be eligible for CEWS. Periods 2 and 3 continue to require 30%.

Payroll contributions refund:

The CEWS has also been expanded with a refund for employer payroll contributions. 

If employees are on leave with pay due to COVID-19, and the employer is CEWS-eligible, 100% of the employer's contributions to CPP and EI will be refunded for each full week those employees are on leave. 

In order to qualify for the refund, employees must receive remuneration, but not be performing work due to COVID-19. Partial weeks do not qualify for the refund.

For full details on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, visit the federal government page here. 

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