The CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) is a wage subsidy program that was conceived to help employers retain employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was started in March 2020.
Now, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the CEWS program has been extended until December 2020. This move definitely will help in the recovery of jobs that were lost by the impact of lockdown measures taken to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.
This decision is significant as Canada is already doing a lot in the direction of reopening its economy. The extension of the program will help both natives and immigrants struggling without work, trying to stabilize their lives that are currently thrown astray by the pandemic crisis.
The CEWS helps businesses to recover from the financial hardships it is facing due to COVID-19, by helping them rehire the workers they had to lay off. It also helps businesses to avoid layoffs in the future. The government will provide a 75% wage subsidy to eligible businesses. This will come up to $847 per week.
Adding up to this fruitful decision, the federal government is currently discussing a “safe restart program” with Canada’s territories and provinces.
Under the general process, non-profits and businesses were eligible to claim subsidy in case they saw a slump of 30% in revenue. This rate was reduced to 15% in March 2020.
The business community which generally welcomed the extension of CEWS, also hoped that more businesses will be capable of accessing it. The business community also criticized the present eligibility requirements. To this, the government responded by suggesting the adjustment of eligibility requirements within a week.
Before the current extension, the CEWS extension was carried out once when 12 weeks were added to the program on May 15, 2020.
The federal government has paid over $18 billion to employers via CEWS. Out of the total 587, 060 applications, 581,800 were approved.
Lately, the Canadian government increased the budget for CEWS to $82,3 billion.
In fact, those willing to work in Canada but lost jobs due to COVID-19 are returning to work after they received CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) assistance. The optimism has also increased among people about working in Canada.
This is reflected in the increase of 1.24 million jobs in May and June 2020, simultaneous to the substantial decrease in rates of unemployment across the country.
With the possibility of a stronger job market with increased immigration Canada will witness, the extension will contribute in a big way to Canada’s economy and overall progress.
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