Government launches Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator for employers

TO help employers keep and re-hire workers amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).  This economic measure provides a 75% wage subsidy of up to $847 per employee per week, to eligible employers, for up to 12 weeks, preventing further job losses and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, retroactive to March 15.

Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, on Tuesday launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator to support employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS.

The CEWS calculator can be found on Canada Revenue Agency’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Web page. This web page incorporates feedback received during user testing with stakeholders, including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.  It includes detailed information and instructions about who can apply for the subsidy, how eligibility is assessed, and how the subsidy is calculated.  The calculator also includes a printable statement feature that employers can use to view their claim at a glance and, as of April 27, enter required information into the CEWS application form quickly and easily. 

By providing employers with additional details about their subsidy claim, the CEWS calculator can equip employers with important information they can use now to make more informed decisions about retaining and re-hiring workers. A series of information sessions will be held in the coming days to provide a forum for eligible employers.

The CRA also encourages employers to sign up for My Business Account or Represent a Client, as employers will be able to apply through these portals. The CRA will open the application process on April 27.  CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA. Funds for approved applications will begin to be released on May 5.

Lebouthillier said: “The Canada Revenue Agency has a proven track record of delivering benefits to millions of Canadians every year. Following on the successful delivery of Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments to millions of Canadians, I am confident in the CRA’s ability to administer this critical fiscal measure that will provide urgently-needed support for Canadian employers and workers. Launching the CEWS calculator is an important first step to ensuring employers are equipped to apply for the subsidy.”
Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said: “The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will help many small business owners keep their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will remove the stress of losing a job for workers and allow employers to bring their teams back together quickly as soon as the emergency phase is over. CFIB appreciates the work of the Canada Revenue Agency in operationalizing this key benefit. We were pleased to provide feedback to the CRA on its calculator designed to make it easier for firms to access the wage subsidy.”
Bruce Ball, Vice-President, Tax, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, said: “In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada is working with organizations such as the Canadian Tax Foundation in providing constant input to the Canada Revenue Agency on important issues relating to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program. It is encouraging to see the CRA putting a new tool in place aimed at helping employers determine required calculations well in advance of the application process being initiated.”
Maurice Mongrain, President, Association of Fiscal and Financial Planning, said: “The APFF wishes to highlight the importance of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for the survival of a large number of Canadian businesses. Thanks to this subsidy, many businesses will avoid layoffs and will be able to rely on a quality workforce when they resume normal activities.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is one of the measures the Government of Canada announced as part of their economic response to support Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In addition, employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance (EI), the Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Québec Pension Plan (QPP) will be refunded when paid in respect of employees that are on leave with pay.