Government Announcement on Wage and Rent Subsidy Amounts

09 Mar 2021

On March 3, 2021, the government announced its proposed extension for the wage subsidy program ("CEWS") and rent subsidy program ("CERS"). The main changes are as follows:

  • The wage subsidy, the rent subsidy, and Lockdown Support are legislated to be available until June 2021.
  • Maintaining the current structures until June 5, 2021. This means that:
    • The maximum base wage subsidy rate for active employees would remain at 40 per cent, and the maximum top-up wage subsidy rate for employers most adversely impacted by the pandemic would remain at 35 per cent. As such, the maximum combined wage subsidy rate would remain at 75 per cent.
    • The maximum rent subsidy rate would remain at 65 per cent.
    • 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.
  • The weekly wage subsidy for a furloughed employee, from March 14 to June 5, 2021, would remain the same and continue to be the lesser of:
    • the amount of eligible remuneration paid in respect of the week; and 
    • the greater of:
      • $500; and 
      • 55 per cent of pre-crisis remuneration for the employee, up to a maximum subsidy amount of $595.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Reference Periods, Periods 14 to 16

  • More Flexible Baseline Remuneration Periods
    • An additional elective alternative baseline remuneration computation for March 14 to June 5, 2021 (Qualifying Periods 14 to 16), is proposed to ensure that the baseline remuneration comparator remains appropriate.
    • In particular, an eligible employer would be allowed to elect, for qualifying periods from March 14 to June 5, 2021, to use the period of March 1 to June 30, 2019, or July 1 to December 31, 2019 (the current alternative period), to calculate baseline remuneration.

If you require more information regarding the above changes, please contact SBLR LLP or refer to the following government release: Government Release March 2021.