Federal Government Extends Rate Structures for Wage Subsidy and Rent Subsidy Programs

Finance Minister Freeland announced on March 3 that the government is intending to extend the rate structures for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and Lockdown Support from March 14 to June 5, 2021. 

The CEWS is set up to help employers retain and quickly rehire workers previously laid off. The maximum wage subsidy rate for active employees will remain at 75 percent until June 5, 2021. This is based on the maximum base wage subsidy rate of 40 percent and the maximum top up rate of 35 percent for employers most adversely affected by COVID-19.   

There is a separate formula that applies to calculating the CEWS entitlement for furloughed employees. Employers who qualify for the wage subsidy will be able to continue to claim up to a maximum of $595 per week per furloughed employee. 

When applying for the CEWS, employers can use March-June 2019 as the reference point for showing revenue declines instead of using the initial months of the pandemic in March – June 2020.   

The CERS provides direct rent and mortgage interest support for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The maximum rent subsidy rate will remain at 65 per cent until June 5, 2021. Lockdown Support provides additional rent relief to organizations that must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public health order. Lockdown Support will remain at 25 per cent and continue to be provided in addition to the CERS.

More information about the three programs can be found here.

This update was authored by Harper Grey lawyer, Scott Marcinkow. Have questions regarding this post? Contact Scott at smarcinkow@harpergrey.com or anyone else listed on the authors page.