Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) FAQ

FAQWe know that there have been a lot of questions and uncertainty about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for businesses. We’ve put together a listing of the most common questions we’ve been asked by our clients and are sharing them here.
If you have any questions, or need any help in getting numbers to see if you qualify, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
I can’t cashflow the payroll as my business is closed.  Can I apply for the subsidy and then pay my employees?
Unfortunately no.  The subsidy application requires you to have PAID your employees.  Consider using the funding from the CEBA Account to pay your employees, if you would like to pay them 75% of their pre-crisis wages.
Can I retroactively go back and pay my employees from when I laid them off in March?
No.  Your employees will likely have already applied for EI or CERB as well for those initial qualification periods.  Rehire them as of April 12th.
Some of my employees are making more on CERB, can I bring back some employees only?
Yes.  You do not have to rehire all of your employees.
Does my business have to be open to claim the CEWS?
Do I have to give my employees work to do from home in order to claim the CEWS?
No.  In fact, if they are not working, you will also be able to apply for a refund of the CPP/EI employer amounts.  If they are doing work, you are not eligible for the refund for your employees.  You do have the ability to have this policy vary from one employee to the next.
Can I give my staff raises so that they can receive more?
You certainly can give them raises, but those amounts would come out of your business.  The maximum amounts you can receive from the subsidy are based upon pre-crisis wage amounts being earned.
I have garnishments for some of my employees. How do I calculate the subsidy?
Garnishments as a result of CRA requests are currently on hold and you would not deduct the garnishments from your employee’s paycheques. Garnishments related to child support do not fall under this waiver.  Have the employee contact FRO or MEP to see if they are making specific allowances for COVID, as right now,  it is on a case by case basis.
I’ve been claiming the 10% Wage Subsidy already, does that mean that I can’t apply for this one?
If you have already claimed the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS), you are still able to claim the CEWS if you meet all other eligibility requirements.  The 75% subsidy will be reduced by the 10% previously claimed.

Note to our Readers: Information regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. We are working to bring you up-to-date articles as the issues unfold and programs are announced. This is not legal or accounting advice.

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Juliet Aurora

Juliet Aurora is the CEO of AIS Solutions and Co-Founder of Kninja Knetwork. Through both of these businesses she fulfills her mission to Educate and Empower those around her. In 2017, her firm was named Intuit's Global Firm of the Future, the first time the title has ever been awarded to any firm outside of the US. She has also has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Accounting, one of the Top 50 Cloud Accountants and one of the Top 10 Canadian Influencers in the Bookkeeping Industry. Her passion for education is channeled through the Intuit Trainer Writer Network, hosting Kninja Knowledge Webinars and most recently, developing a Cloud Accounting Course for the next generation of accounting professionals.


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