Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): Program Extended to December 2020 and Eligibility Broadened

20. August 2020 0

As discussed in our recent blog post on July 22, 2020, the changes proposed to the CEWS have been confirmed.  On July 27, 2020 Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, received Royal Assent and amended the CEWS.  Most notably, Bill C-20 extends the duration of the CEWS until December 19, 2020 and broadens the eligibility by providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenue, including employers who are experiencing a revenue loss of less than 30 percent. 

The intention of this change is to help employers, who previously would not qualify for CEWS due to a revenue decline of less than 30 percent, keep and/or bring back their employees.  This change also ensures employers who previously benefited from the CEWS continue to receive support, even if their revenues have recovered and they no longer meet the 30 percent revenue decline threshold.

Other changes to the CEWS include:

  • The amendments will be effective from July 5, 2020;
  • Previously there were 4 claim periods that employers could apply for which were from March 15, 2020 to July 4, 2020.  Bill C-20 provides 5 additional claim periods which are from July 5, 2020 to November 21, 2020.  Program details beyond November 21, 2020 have not been released; and
  • The introduction of a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic.

Our recent July 22, 2020 blog post can be found here.   More information about the changes to the CEWS can be found on the federal government’s website here. The government’s website includes sample calculations for how the new criteria apply.   

Have questions regarding this topic? This post was authored by Ryan Chan. Please don’t hesitate to contact him at or anyone else listed on the authors page.