Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program: Frequently asked questions

What is the Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program (CERP)?

he Compensation for Employers of Reservist Program (CERP) helps employers of Reservists offset costs they incur when a Reservist employee takes time away from work to participate in domestic or international military operations.

This program mitigates business costs such as:

  • Training or hiring replacement workers
  • increasing overtime hours for existing employees
  • Business realignment to mitigate staff reduction
  • Reduced revenue

This program is for employers of Reservists and self-employed Reservists from the not-for-profit, private and public sectors (i.e. municipal, provincial and territorial government).

This program ensures that the right support mechanisms are in place to encourage and support Reservists’ full participation in current and future military operations. The program is also a tangible recognition of the cost and inconvenience incurred by employers who actively support their Reservist-employees military commitments.

For Employers and Self-Employed Reservists
When can an eligible employer expect to receive payment?

A one-time lump sum payment will be issued to eligible employers or self-employed Reservists who submit their application at the end of the Reservists’ confirmed deployment period.

What happens if a Reservist is deployed past the originally anticipated deployment date?

If an employee is deployed away from work for a period greater than the maximum period of 18 months, the employer will receive compensation up to the maximum of 18 months. If an employee’s deployment period is longer than what was originally projected, but less than the maximum period of 18 months, the payment calculation will be adjusted to reflect the new deployment period.

In both scenarios, the Reservist’s deployment dates will be confirmed by the Department of National Defence personnel.

What happens if a Reservist does not go back to work following their participation on a military operation?

If a Reservist does not to return to their civilian job following their deployment period, employers will be compensated only for the deployment period, up to a maximum of 18 months. The program compensates employers for the period of time that a Reservist is absent from work as a result of their participation on a named military operation.

Can an employer be compensated for several deploying employees?

Yes. Multiple applications from the same employer / organization will be accepted in the event that several Reservists from an organization deploy.

Can an employer submit applications for the same employee who participates on multiple deployments?

Yes, an employer may submit an application each time the employee deploys.

Can an employer submit applications for several employees deploying on the same mission?

Yes, an employer may submit an application for each of the deploying employees leaving from the same organization / business unit. 

Can an employer apply for compensation if their Reservist employee has not advised them about the program?

Yes, an employer may apply for compensation even if their Reservist employee does not discuss the program with them.  As part of their deployment agreement process, Reservists should indicate whether they have informed their employers about the program.

In the event that a Reservist works for two employers, which one is eligible to apply for compensation?

If a Reservist works for two employers, the one who meets all of the eligibility criteria may apply for, and receive, compensation. If both employers meet the program criteria, they both may be considered for compensation.

Are employers of seasonal or casual workers eligible?

Civilian employers of seasonal or casual workers are welcome to apply; they must satisfy the program eligibility criteria to be considered eligible for compensation.

What happens if a Reservist re-deploys on a mission shortly after returning to work?


Reservists may be called to re-deploy on an operation/mission shortly following a return to their civilian job.  In these cases, employers would be entitled to submit another application for compensation.

Does an employer have to grant an employee leave for military duty and hold the employee’s position while they are away from work on a mission?

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Job Protection Legislation is in place to provide guidance to civilian employers regarding support for Reservists who wish to participate in military operations. The applicable Job Protection Legislation within your jurisdiction dictates the legal obligations concerning reinstatement of employees who leave for military service.

Is the application process different for self-employed Reservists than for employers of a Reservist?

No. Self-employed Reservists must submit an application similar to the employers of Reservist and must meet all required eligibility criteria. Although, self-employed Reservists must be able to prove that the business is viable at least three months prior to departure. In other words, self-employed Reservists must demonstrate that the compensation claimed via CERP is not the sole or primary financial resource for the company. For more information about sole business proprietorship, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Will private information be collected as part of this program?

The collection and storage of private information for the purposes of this program will be done in accordance with the Privacy Act and other legislation governing the handling of sensitive or private data. Employers will be required to disclose some information to satisfy the eligibility criteria for compensation.  Self-employed Reservists will be required to provide information needed to authenticate the business’ status as a viable entity.

For Reservists
How does this program benefit Reservists?

Appreciating the sacrifice that Reservists make when they support military operations, this program benefits Reservists by building goodwill with employers and acknowledging their role in ensuring that Canada is able to achieve its defence mandate, while minimizing the challenge of balancing the demands of civilian careers with military duties.

Are Reservists required to tell their employer about the program prior to deployment?

Reservists are asked to advise their employer about the program before leaving their place of employment for the mission. A Reservist will indicate on their Deployment Agreement whether they have advised their employer about the program.

How much information does a Reservist have to supply to their employer about the program?

Reservists are asked to inform their employer by handing off a CERP pamphlet and/or directing their employer to the Supporting reservists and employers website where they can find more information.

What happens if the company/employer goes bankrupt while the Reservist is away on a mission; is the employer still eligible for compensation?

Businesses that go bankrupt while a Reservist employee is deployed on a mission are not eligible to receive compensation. An applicant has to be an organization in good standing at the time they submit an application, which can only be submitted at the end of the deployment period.

Does this program mean that my employer will hold my job until I return from the mission?

The applicable Job Protection Legislation within your employer’s jurisdiction dictates their legal obligations concerning reinstatement of employees who leave for military service.

Compensation amount
How much will employers receive via this program?

The program will compensate employers approximately $425 per week, during the period a Reservist is away from work. This rate is adjusted annually based on the Years’ Maximum Pensionable Earning (YMPE).

Will employers receive several payments or one payment?

Eligible employers who submit an application at the end of the deployment period of their reservist-employee will receive a one-time lump sum payment.

Is the compensation considered taxable income?

Yes. No tax withholdings are to be made by DND or Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada on the payment to the grant recipient. For example, in Ontario, employers would indicate receipt of the grant on their T4A using code/box 28 “other income”.  There are similar provincial reporting requirements for payment made to recipients located in Quebec, where the amount would be reported on a RL-1 using box O

Are employers able to appeal the compensation amount received if it is incorrect?

If an employer believes they have received an incorrect compensation amount they may request that their application be reviewed. Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada will conduct an initial review to ensure that the discrepancy was not due to an administrative error. DND will review all other issues related to the program policy.

Program eligibility criteria
What are the program’s criteria?

Employers must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • The employee must deploy on a Chief of the Defence Staff named operation.
  • The employee must be away from work for a minimum of 30 days to a maximum of 18 months; this includes pre-deployment training and post-deployment requirements.
  • The employee must have worked full-time hours (at least 30 hours per week), for the same employer for a minimum period of three consecutive months prior to deployment.
  • Self-employed Reservists must demonstrate that their business is legitimate and has been viable for a minimum period of three months prior to deployment.
Who will not be considered for compensation under this program?
  • Civilian employers of federal government departments, agencies and Crown Corporations.
  • Self-employed Reservists, who are not able to prove the legitimacy of their business, will not be considered.
  • Applications from employers whose employee(s) have requested leave to undertake qualification training or other types of military service other than those which do not support a Chief of the Defence Staff-named operation, are not eligible.
How to apply
Submitting an application

DND seeks to proactively ensure that employers are made aware of the program and are able to apply without delay.  Accordingly, during the pre-deployment process, individual Reservists will be provided with details regarding the program and will be asked to provide this necessary information to their employer in order for DND’s program managers to begin engaging directly with employers.  It is important to note that the provision of this information by a Reservist is entirely voluntary.

What is the deadline for submitting an application for compensation?

Employers may submit an application upon the return of their employee from active military duty and completion of all parts of the mission, including pre-deployment training and post-deployment activities.  Deployment dates can/will be adjusted by DND and Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada program administrators should there be adjustments to the Reservists’ deployment period, and can only be finalized once the Reservist’s period of military service for the deployment is complete.  Employers have up to 12 months following the deployment period of their employee to submit an application to ESDC/ Service Canada.

Please visit Employment and Social Development Canada to access the Grant Application for Funding and Applicant Guide in order to receive more information on how to submit your application.

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