“As Canadians continue to fight COVID-19, we know we need to keep supporting workers. The wage subsidy has been helping protect more than 3.5 million jobs at businesses of every size, in every corner of this country. It has also been a crucial tool to protect the connection between employers and employees, including furloughed employees.”
– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
The government introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in order to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to rehire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis.
Since its launch, over 3.5 million Canadian employees have had their jobs supported through the CEWS with more than $35 billion paid out in wage subsidies as of September 13, 2020.
On July 17, 2020, the government announced a redesigned Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that expanded and extended the program. The redesigned wage subsidy set the rate structure for employers out to November 21, 2020, and established a separate Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy benefit structure that would apply to furloughed employees up until August 29, 2020.
On August 21, 2020, the government announced the extension of this treatment of furloughed employees under the wage subsidy to September 26, 2020.