The government has been providing financial assistance to Canadians throughout the pandemic. Part of that is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which has been a vital part of helping people stay tied to their jobs. This benefit has now been extended into next year.

The subsidy was introduced as a way for businesses to continue paying their employees during any restrictions or shutdowns that might occur due to COVID-19.

While there have been a number of different benefits offered to Canadians throughout the year, this one is specifically meant to keep people in their jobs and allow them the chance to return to work when things get better. 

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What is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy?

The CEWS was designed for small and medium-sized employers who have lost a certain percentage of their revenue due to the pandemic, whether it's through closure or reduced business.

Through the subsidy, the government pays 75% of employee wages (up to a maximum of $847 a week).

This was done in order for businesses to keep their employees on and continue paying them, even if they cannot have them working.

It was also meant to encourage employers to keep their staff on so they could return to their jobs without any disruption.

Even several of Canada's political parties applied for the wage subsidy once it was introduced.

How long is it being extended?

The latest extension for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has it stretching firmly into next year, with the government planning to keep it running until June 2021.

The CEWS has already gone through a few extensions since it was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on March 27.

Its first continuation had it going past June of this year, with Trudeau urging employers to use it and hire back employees that they might have had to let go.

Following that, it was extended again until the end of August, and will now keep going into the new year.

What are some current restrictions on businesses?

The wage subsidy is a response to the many restrictions and business closures that have had to take place over the course of the pandemic.

In March and April, non-essential businesses across the country were required to close to the public in order to keep infection rates low. That also meant that a lot of people found themselves out of work.

As the provinces went through various stages of reopening, some people were able to return to their jobs, but businesses in some regions had to operate at a limited capacity.

The most recent rollbacks on reopening in Quebec and Ontario have put some businesses back in the position of having to close, necessitating the wage subsidy even more.

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