The Federal Government quickly implemented a host of subsidies, payments, accounts, and benefits designed to stimulate the economy and keep businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. CEWS and CEBA (which we previously covered) are two measures that have been brought in for businesses.
What is the CEWS?
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is a subsidy payment that covers you for up to 75% of the remuneration of your employees, up to a maximum of $847 per week per employee. It is designed to help businesses that saw a reduction in revenue as a result of COVID-19 keep staff employed or to allow staff who were let go or furloughed return to work.
How do CEWS payment work?
Employers who have paid employees during the claim periods may receive up to 75% of those payments back from the Federal Government. Eligible businesses will have started to see the money in their accounts from May 5, with funding being retroactive to March 15.
These payments will continue (where the employer remains eligible) through to August 29, 2020. This is an extension of 12 weeks from the original claim period, which was touted to conclude in June.
Eligibility for CEWS
Three criteria must be met for your business to be eligible for the wage subsidy:
- You must be an eligible employer;
- You must have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue; and
- You must have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020.
These criteria will be explored further below, but you should first note that:
You need to choose between CERB and CEWS
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is designed to overlap with the CEBA to some extent. But you are not entitled to receive both payments. If you do, you will need to pay one back in the coming months.
The CEWS payment is designed to have broad reach. Essentially, individuals, trusts, corporations, non-profits, and registered charities may be eligible. Partnerships are not excluded from eligibility, though it does depend on whether all members are eligible employers. Additionally, these tax-exempt entities are included:
- Agricultural organizations;
- Boards of trade;
- Chambers of commerce;
- Non-profit scientific research and experimental development corporations;
- Labour organizations and societies; and
- Benevolent or fraternal benefit societies.
Tax-exempt corporations are not eligible, nor are public institutions, including local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools, health authorities, and hospitals.
Passing the Revenue Test
The Federal Government notes that employers must be able to demonstrate a reduction in revenue (in line with the following table) to be eligible for the CEWS:
This will be updated to include the June 7 through August 29, 2020 period once these details become available.
Calculate your CEWS Payment
The amount you are entitled to receive varies based on two factors:
- The number and type of eligible employees you have; and
- The amount and type of pay they received before and during the claim periods.
Employees Eligible for CEWS
Employees cannot apply for CEWS in their own right. Instead, the eligible employees requirement refers to the number of employees a business is entitled to claim CEWS for.
An eligible employee is anyone who was employed and paid in Canada by an eligible employer during the claim period. Any employee who was not paid for a period of 14 or more consecutive days during the claim period is not eligible.
You need to apply on an individual employee basis, so you can choose how many of your employees you want to retain or rehire. It is not designed to be an all-or-nothing program.
You can use this subsidy calculator to work out your entitlements.
Apply for the CEWS
If you meet the criteria outlined above, you can apply to receive the CEWS in one of three ways:
- Via your ‘My Business Account’;
- Via your business representative; or
- Via the Web Form Application using your web access code.
You cannot apply for the CEWS payment through Osoyoos Credit Union or our online portal.
Note that you will need to submit a separate application for each of the claim periods (as they open).
Sign Up for Direct Deposit with Osoyoos Credit Union
While you can’t apply for the CEWS payment on our website, you can sign up to receive the CEWS payment by direct deposit into your payroll account using our Member Direct platform.
We recommend you sign up for direct deposit payments before (or shortly after) applying to the Federal Government for the CEWS payment so that you get the money into your account as soon as possible.
To sign up for direct deposit, you must have had a business account with OCU on March 1, 2020.
You must also have a valid 15-digit business number and a Payroll account (RP).
Before applying, check that the legal name of the business and owner details on file with us match the details the CRA has on file. It’s best if the owner of the business completes the registration and includes their SIN and DOB to allow the CRA to check these details match those on file.
Remember: registering for direct deposit with OCU is not the same as applying for the CEWS payment. To apply, follow the link provided in the ‘how to apply’ section above.
OCU is here to help
If you need any financial assistance, we’re here to help.
We’ve been working hard on tailored solutions to keep our members afloat during the COVID-19 period and look forward to finding practical solutions that work for you.
Don’t hesitate to reach out early and reach out often. We’re here for you.
Because Together We’re Better.