On July 30, the government proposed to extend the subsidy programs. The highlights are as follows:
- Extending the eligibility period for CEWS, CERS, and Lockdown Support until October 23, 2021. Eligible employers will still be able to apply for the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) instead of the wage subsidy if they choose, which is available from June 6 to November 20, 2021.
- Increasing the wage and rent subsidy rates between August 29 and September 25, 2021. The period 20 (August 29 to September 25) subsidy rate is increased to 40% from its original rate. For the new Period 21 (September 26 to October 23), the subsidy rate would be set at a maximum of 20%. The Lockdown Support rate is set at 25%.
- Extending the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) until October 23, 2021.
- Increasing the maximum number of weeks available for CRB, by an additional 4 weeks, to a total of 54 weeks, at a rate of $3,000 per week, and ensuring it is available to those who have exhausted their employment insurance (EI) benefits.
Revenue decline calculation
An eligible employer that was not carrying on a business on March 1, 2019 and adopts the prior-year reference approach (2019 corresponding month) is not eligible to apply for the subsidy under the current rules due to lack of revenue reference in 2019. The government proposes to allow an eligible employer to elect to use the alternative approach (January and February 2020 average) to calculate its revenue decline for Periods 14 to 17 (March 14 to July 3, 2021), making them eligible for continued support under these programs.
Wage subsidy support for furloughed employees
The last update also clarifies that the wage subsidy for furloughed employees would no longer be available after August 28, 2021, including the subsidy for the employer’s portion of contributions under the Canada Pension Plan, EI, the Quebec Pension Plan and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan in respect of furloughed employees.
For more details, please refer to Extending Business Support Measures Through the Pandemic.