Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator Now Available

23 April 2020

In an effort to assist businesses, the Federal Government passed legislation implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) earlier this month. The CEWS will provide eligible employers with a subsidy of 75% of eligible employee wages (subject to a weekly maximum per employee) for up to 12 weeks between March 15, 2020, and June 6, 2020. For an overview of the CEWS , including eligibility requirements, please visit our earlier bulletin that can be found here

Applications for the CEWS will open on April 27, 2020. Eligible employers may apply through their CRA My Business Account or a separate online application form. Alternatively, representatives of businesses may apply using the CRA Represent a Client portal. Applications can be made as late as September 30, 2020.  

Prior to applying, employers must calculate the amount of the subsidy that their business is eligible to claim, and must do a separate calculation and application for each payroll account that the business has with the CRA. The Federal Government has launched the CEWS Calculator to assist businesses with these calculations. The CEWS calculator can be found at the the Government’s ”Calculate your subsidy amount” page. This page provides instructions for calculating the wage subsidy and includes a downloadable spreadsheet to assist with the calculation as well as examples based on an employee’s weekly remuneration. A printable statement is included that will allow businesses to view their claim once the calculations have been completed and will assist businesses in quickly entering the information required when the application portals open on April 27.

Prior to April 27, 2020, the Federal Government encourages businesses to take the following steps:

  1. Register for the CRA My Business Account if the business has not already done so;
  2. Ensure the business details and direct deposit information for payroll accounts are up to date;
  3. Calculate the estimated subsidy using the CEWS calculator; and
  4. If the business is expecting more than $25 million, ensure that they are set up through the large value transfer system.

We encourage you to seek legal advice regarding any questions you have about the application of the CEWS to your business.


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