May 19: COVID-19 Update for Employers

This memo covers Federal and Provincial updates.

The CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) has been extended

On May 15th the Prime Minister announced that the CEWS will continue past its original end-date in June and will now be extended to August 29, 2020. The CEWS provides employers with up to 75% wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $847 per employee, per week.

Finance Minister Morneau also announced that eligibility has been extended to include the following groups:

  • Partnerships that are up to 50% owned by non-eligible members
  • Indigenous government-owned corporations where the partners are indigenous governments and eligible employers
  • Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations
  • Registered Journalism Organizations
  • Non-public colleges and schools, including those offering specialized education services such as language, arts, and driving schools.

The Finance Minister also signaled that the Federal Government intends to continue and evaluate the program’s effectiveness and make adjustments based on meeting their objectives.

Canada Emergency Student Benefits (“CESB”) applications open

Post-secondary students, as well as recent post-secondary and high-school graduates can apply for the CESB. The program will provide a payment of $1,250 for each 4 week period to unemployed students who do not qualify for the CERB.

There are four eligibility periods, starting on May 10 and lasting until August 29, 2020.

This benefit is also available to students who are employed but make less than $1,000 a month. Students who have a permanent disability or dependents will also be eligible to receive an additional $750 per period.

WorkSafeBC Introduces Guidelines for Phase 2

In preparation for BC entering Phase 2 of its economic restart plan, WorkSafeBC issued several industry/sector specific guidelines and has made available a planning tool to assist employers who are planning to reopen.

WorkSafeBC Safety Plan:

COVID-19 safe operations guidelines (industry specific):

Part-time, Voluntary Return to School in BC

Premier Horgan announced that in-class learning will resume at BC schools (kindergarten through grade 12) on June 1. Class sizes will be limited and parents will have a choice of sending their children to class.

As business make plans to return to work under Phase 2 of the BC Safe Restart program, Engaged continues to support employers with their COVID-19 challenges, and we continue to be here for you.