Government extends Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy support for furloughed employees for four weeks

News release

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support Canadians and protect jobs during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and to better position them for a strong economic recovery.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has supported more than 3 million Canadians since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support to businesses so they can keep their workers, including furloughed workers, on the payroll.

To help support workers and provide certainty for employers, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, today announced that the government proposes to extend the current treatment of furloughed employees under the CEWS program by 4 weeks – from August 30 to September 26.  This would mean that employers who qualify for the CEWS would be able to continue to claim up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week to support remuneration for each of their furloughed workers. Further details about the calculation of CEWS for furloughed workers for remaining periods of the program will be announced in the coming weeks.

The government continues to assess and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy.


“At the beginning of this global pandemic, we promised to do whatever it takes to support Canadians. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is an important part of that. Since its launch, it has helped over 3 million Canadian workers keep their jobs. This is not only helping Canada’s economy stay strong; it will also help us bounce back as businesses start to reopen.”

–The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • The government introduced the CEWS, as part of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, 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.

  • The CEWS was put in place for an initial 12-week period from March 15 to June 6, 2020, providing a 75-per-cent wage subsidy to eligible employers.

  • On July 27, Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures received Royal Assent and further extended the program until November 21, 2020, with the intent to provide further support until December 19, 2020.

  • Bill C-20, also:

    •  Made the CEWS more accessible to a broader range of employers by providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues. This change was made to help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold.
    • Introduced a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
    • Provided certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.
    • Addressed technical issues with the CEWS identified by stakeholders, for example by providing
      continuity rules to address circumstances where an employer purchased all or substantially all of another entity’s business assets.

Related products

Associated links


Media may contact:

Katherine Cuplinskas
Press Secretary
Deputy Prime Minister's Office

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

Page details

Date modified: