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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

What the changes are

Eligible employers who had any drop in revenue can now qualify for the wage subsidy, starting with the claim periods that began July 5.

Periods 5 to 9
July 5 to November 21, 2020

Changes to CEWS as of claim period 5:

  • the subsidy rate varies, depending on how much your revenue dropped
  • if your revenue drop was less than 30% you can still qualify, and keep getting the subsidy as employees return to work and your revenue recovers
  • employers who were hardest hit over a period of three months get a higher amount
  • employees who were unpaid for 14 or more days can now be included in your calculation
  • use the current period’s revenue drop or the previous period’s, whichever works in your favour
    • for periods 5 and 6, if your revenue dropped at least 30%, your subsidy rate will be at least 75%
  • even if your revenue has not dropped for the claim period, you can still qualify if your average revenue over the previous three months dropped more than 50%
  • the maximum base subsidy rate is 60% in claim periods 5 and 6
  • the maximum base subsidy rate will begin to decline in claim period 7, gradually reducing to 20% in period 9
Periods 1 to 4
March 15 to July 4, 2020

For claim periods 1 to 4 (March 15 to July 4, 2020):

  • you must meet a minimum of 15% (period 1) or 30% (periods 2 to 4) revenue drop to qualify for the subsidy
  • if you qualify for a period, you automatically qualify for the following period
  • the subsidy rate is 75% of eligible employees' remuneration, up to a maximum of $847/week per eligible employee
  • employees who were unpaid for 14 or more consecutive days in the period can't be included in your calculation

How the subsidy helps

Get a % of your employees’ pay
per eligible employee
per week

The amount you get per employee is based on your revenue drop.

There are different ways to calculate your rate. Use the one that works best for your situation.

Use the calculation that maximizes your subsidy amount

Only for claim periods 5 and 6, you can use the calculation from period 4 (the "safe harbour" rule):

  • if you have a revenue drop of 30% or more, then you qualify for 75% of the eligible employees' remuneration, up to a maximum of $847/week
or

For claim periods 5 to 9:

  • you can use the new calculation, as outlined below
  • you may also qualify for a top-up

Note: Claim periods 7 and forward must use the new calculations

How much you can qualify for

For example, in claim periods 5 and 6:

If your revenue drop is 50% or more
Claim periods 5 and 6: Revenue drop is 50% or more
Your revenue drop in period 5 or 6 is
50% or more

Your base rate is the maximum 60%

This means:

  • Eligible employees earning $1,129/week or more would get $1,129 x 60% = $677.40/week
  • Eligible employees earning less than $1,129/week would get 60% of their remuneration
If your revenue drop is 0-49%
Claim periods 5 and 6: Revenue drop is 0-49%
Your revenue drop in period 5 or 6 is
0-49%

Your base rate is 1.2 times your revenue drop %

This means:

  • If you had 20% revenue drop, your base rate is 20% x 1.2 = 24%
  • Eligible employees earning $1,129/week or more would get $1,129 x 24% = $270.96/week
  • Eligible employees earning less than $1,129/week would get 24% of their remuneration

If you were especially hard hit

You may get an additional amount, based on your average revenue drop in the previous 3 months
Top-up amount details
Your revenue drop over a 3-month span is 70% or more Your revenue drop over a 3-month span is 50-69% Your revenue drop over a 3-month span is 0-49%

You can qualify for the maximum 25% top-up

This means:

  • Eligible employees earning $1,129/week or more would get $1,129 x 25% = $282.25/week top-up
  • Eligible employees earning less than $1,129/week would get 25% of their remuneration

You can you qualify for a top-up that is 1.25 x (your revenue drop % - 50%)

This means:

  • If you had 60% revenue drop, your top-up is 1.25 x (60% - 50%) = 12.5%
  • Eligible employees earning $1,129/week or more would get $1,129 x 12.5% = $141.13/week
  • Eligible employees earning less than $1,129/week would get 12.5% of their remuneration
No top-up

Maximizing the subsidy amount

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you can take advantage of the best calculation.

Examples

Your revenue drop is 60% in period 7
Eligible active employee earns $1,500/week
Using the
period 7 calculation

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 50% of $1,129/week
  • $1,129 x 50% = $564.50/week

Top-up:

  • Maximum claim is 1.25 x (your revenue drop % - 50%)
  • 1.25 x (60% - 50%) = 12.5%
  • $1,129 x 12.5% = $141.13/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Your claim for this employee:

  • $564.50 + $141.13 = $705.63/week

Eligible active employee earns $500/week
Using the
period 7 calculation

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 50% of $500/week
  • $500 x 50% = $250.00/week

Top-up:

  • Maximum claim is 1.25 x (your revenue drop % - 50%)
  • 1.25 x (60% - 50%) = 12.5%
  • $500 x 12.5% = $62.50/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Your claim for this employee:

  • $250.00 + $62.50 = $312.50/week
Your revenue drop is 30% in period 7
Eligible active employee earns $1,500/week
Using the
period 7 calculation

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1 times your revenue drop % x $1,129/week
  • 1 x 30% = 30%
  • $1,129 x 30% = $337.70/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Your claim for this employee:

  • $338.70 + $0 = $338.70/week

Eligible active employee earns $500/week
Using the
period 7 calculation

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1 times your revenue drop % x $500/week
  • 1 x 30% = 30%
  • $500 x 30% = $150.00/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Your claim for this employee:

  • $150.00 + $0 = $150.00/week
Your revenue drop is 70% in period 5 or 6
Eligible active employee earns $1,500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 60% of $1,129/week
  • $1,129 x 60% = $677.40/week

Top-up:

  • Maximum claim is 25% of $1,129/week
  • $1,129 x 25% = $282.25/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Rate:

  • Claim is 75% of earnings up to a maximum benefit of $847/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $677.40 + $282.25 = $959.65/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $847.00/week

For this employee, you would use the $959.65/week subsidy and not the $847.00/week.


Eligible active employee earns $500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 60% of $500/week
  • $500 x 60% = $300.00/week

Top-up:

  • Maximum claim is 25% of $500/week
  • $500 x 25% = $125.00/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Rate:

  • Maximum claim is 75% of $500/week
  • $500 x 75% = $375.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $300.00 + $125.00 = $425/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $375.00/week

For this employee, you would use the $425.00/week subsidy and not the $375.00/week.

Your revenue drop is 60% in period 5 or 6
Eligible active employee earns $1,500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the "safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 60% of $1,129/week
  • $1,129 x 60% = $677.40/week

Top-up:

  • Maximum claim is 1.25 x (your revenue drop % - 50%)
  • 1.25 x (60% - 50%) = 12.5%
  • $1,129 x 12.5% = $141.13/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Rate:

  • Claim is 75% of earnings up to a maximum benefit of $847/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $677.40 + $141.13 = $818.53/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $847/week

For this employee, you would use the $847/week subsidy and not the $818/week.


Eligible active employee earns $500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 60% of $500/week
  • $500 x 60% = $300.00/week

Top-up:

  • Maximum claim is 1.25 x (your revenue drop % - 50%)
  • 1.25 x (60% - 50%) = 12.5%
  • $500 x 12.5% = $62.50/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Rate:

  • Maximum claim is 75% of $500/week
  • $500 x 75% = $375.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $300.00 + $62.50 = $362.50/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $375.00/week

For this employee, you would use the $375.00/week subsidy and not the $362.50/week.

Your revenue drop is 40% in period 5 or 6
Eligible active employee earns $1,500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1.2 times your revenue drop % x $1,129/week
  • 1.2 x 40% = 48%
  • $1,129 x 48% = $541.92/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Rate:

  • Claim is 75% of earnings up to a maximum benefit of $847/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $541.92 + $0 = $541.92/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $847/week

For this employee, you would use the $847/week subsidy and not the $542/week.


Eligible active employee earns $500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using "safe harbour" calculation

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1.2 times your revenue drop % x $500/week
  • 1.2 x 40% = 48%
  • $500 x 48% = $240.00/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Rate:

  • Maximum claim is 75% of $500/week
  • $500 x 75% = $375.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $240.00 + $0 = $240.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $375.00/week

For this employee, you would use the $375.00/week subsidy and not the $240.00/week.

Your revenue drop is 30% in period 5 or 6
Eligible active employee earns $1,500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1.2 times your revenue drop % x $1,129/week
  • 1.2 x 30% = 36%
  • $1,129 x 36% = $406.44/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Rate:

  • Maximum claim is 75% of $1,129.33/week
  • $1,129.33 x 75% = $847.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $406.44 + $0 = $406.44/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $847.00/week

For this employee, you would use the $847.00/week subsidy and not the $406.44/week.


Eligible active employee earns $500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1.2 times your revenue drop % x $500/week
  • 1.2 x 30% = 36%
  • $500 x 36% = $180.00/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

Rate:

  • Maximum claim is 75% of $500/week
  • $500 x 75% = $375.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $180.00 + $0 = $180.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $375.00/week

For this employee, you would use the $375.00/week subsidy and not the $180.00/week.

Your revenue drop is 20% in period 5 or 6
Eligible active employee earns $1,500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1.2 times your revenue drop % x $1,129/week
  • 1.2 x 20% = 24%
  • $1,129 x 24% = $270.96/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

You do not meet the rules for safe harbour, as you have not met the 30% revenue drop test.

Your claim for this employee:

  • $270.96 + $0 = $270.96/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $0/week

For this employee, you would use the $270.96/week subsidy and not the $0/week.


Eligible active employee earns $500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1.2 times your revenue drop % x $500/week
  • 1.2 x 20% = 24%
  • $500 x 24% = $120.00/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

You do not meet the rules for safe harbour, as you have not met the 30% revenue drop test.

Your claim for this employee:

  • $120.00 + $0 = $120.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $0/week

For this employee, you would use the $120.00/week subsidy and not the $0/week.

Your revenue drop is 10% in period 5 or 6
Eligible active employee earns $1,500/week
Using the
period 5 and 6 calculation
Using the
"safe harbour" rule

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1.2 times your revenue drop % x $1,129/week
  • 1.2 x 10% = 12%
  • $1,129 x 12% = $135.48/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

You do not meet the rules for safe harbour, as you have not met the 30% revenue drop test.

Your claim for this employee:

  • $135.48 + $0 = $135.48/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $0/week

For this employee, you would use the $135.48/week subsidy and not the $0/week.


Eligible active employee earns $500/week
Using period 5 and 6 calculation Using "safe harbour" calculation

Base rate:

  • Maximum claim is 1.2 times your revenue drop % x $500/week
  • 1.2 x 10% = 12%
  • $500 x 12% = $60.00/week

Top-up:

  • $0/week

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this example,
we are assuming that the three-month top-up revenue drop
was the same as the base revenue drop.

You do not meet the rules for safe harbour, as you have not met the 30% revenue decline test.

Your claim for this employee:

  • $60.00 + $0 = $60.00/week

Your claim for this employee:

  • $0/week

For this employee, you would use the $60.00/week subsidy and not $0/week.

How you apply

  1. Determine if you are an eligible employer
  2. Determine which employees you can claim the subsidy for
  3. Use the calculator to find out how much subsidy you can claim under the new rules. There are two calculator options:
    • a new online calculator
    • a downloadable spreadsheet
  4. Enter the values of your claim, using one of three options:
    • My Business Account
    • Represent a Client (only authorized representatives with level 2 or 3 authorization may use this option)
    • Web Forms application
  5. Get your subsidy in 3 to 5 business days with direct deposit

Get started

The first step is to confirm you are an eligible employer.

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