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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Who is an eligible employer

To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must:

  • be an eligible employer
  • have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue, and
  • have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020

On this page

Types of eligible employers

Eligible employers include:

Public institutions are not eligible for the subsidy. This includes municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges and schools, and hospitals.

Read more about who is an eligible employer

What is an eligible revenue reduction

You must determine if your reduced revenue makes you eligible to apply for the wage subsidy in a particular period.

If you determine that you qualify for the CEWS for one claim period, you will automatically qualify for the following claim period.

Calculate your reduction by comparing your eligible revenue for the starting month of the claim period with your baseline revenue. Your baseline revenue is either:

  • the revenue you earned in the corresponding month in 2019, or
  • the average of the revenue you earned in January and February, 2020

You must choose one of these baseline revenue options for your method of comparison and will not be able to change it for your subsequent calculations for the other 2 periods.

Eligibility periods for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Eligibility period Start and end dates Baseline revenue Eligibility
period revenue
Required
reduction
1 March 15, 2020 to
April 11, 2020
  • March 2019, or
  • Average of January
    and February 2020
March 2020 15%
2 April 12, 2020 to
May 9, 2020
  • April 2019, or
  • Average of January
    and February 2020
April 2020 30%
3 May 10, 2020 to
June 6, 2020
  • May 2019, or
  • Average of January
    and February 2020
May 2020 30%

Eligible revenue

Eligible revenue generally includes revenue earned in Canada from:

  • selling goods
  • rendering services, and
  • others' use of your resources

Use your normal accounting method when calculating revenue. You can use the cash method or the accrual method, but you must use the same approach throughout.

Special revenue circumstances

Registered charities and non-profit organizations

Registered charities and non-profit organizations may choose whether or not to include revenue from government sources, such as grants, when applying for the subsidy. You must take the same approach for each period you are applying for.

Read more about eligible revenue for charities and non-profit organizations

Non-arm's length transactions and affiliated groups

There are special rules for revenue related to certain non-arm's-length transactions and affiliated groups.

Read more about calculating eligible revenue in specific situations

Examples of revenue reduction calculation

Example 1: Automatically qualifying for a subsequent period

Business "A" eligibility

Period 1: March 15 to April 11 (15% revenue reduction required)

Example 1 - Period 1: March 15 to April 11 (15% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 Mar 2020 Baseline (compare to Mar 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $130,000
  • March 2019: $170,000 (23.5% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (0% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Qualifies for period 1

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019

Note: Whatever baseline you initially choose, it must remain the same for each of the following periods

Period 2: April 12 to May 9 (30% revenue reduction required)

Example 1 - Period 2: April 12 to May 9 (30% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 April 2020 Baseline (compare to Apr 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $120,000
  • April 2019: $160,000 (25% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (0% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Qualifies for period 2

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019

Although the employer's revenue has not met the 30% reduction for period 2, because they qualified for period 1, they automatically qualify for the following claim period.

Note: Whatever baseline you initially choose, it must remain the same for each of the following periods

Period 3: May 10 to June 6 (30% revenue reduction required)

Example 1 - Period 3: May 10 to June 6 (30% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 May 2020 Baseline (compare to May 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $130,000
  • May 2019: $190,000 (31.6% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (0% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Qualifies for period 3

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019

Note: Whatever baseline you initially choose, it must remain the same for each of the following periods

Example 2: Only qualifying for period 3

Business "B" eligibility

Period 1: March 15 to April 11 (15% revenue reduction required)

Example 2 - Period 1: March 15 to April 11 (15% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 Mar 2020 Baseline (compare to Mar 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $105,000
  • March 2019: $115,000 (8.7% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (12.5% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Does not qualify for period 1

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019 and average of Jan/Feb are both below 15%.

Period 2: April 12 to May 9 (30% revenue reduction required)

Example 2 - Period 2: April 12 to May 9 (30% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 April 2020 Baseline (compare to Apr 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $120,000
  • April 2019: $160,000 (25% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (0% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Does not qualify for period 2

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019 and average of Jan/Feb are both below 30%

Period 3: May 10 to June 6 (30% revenue reduction required)

Example 2 - Period 3: May 10 to June 6 (30% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 May 2020 Baseline (compare to May 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $120,000
  • May 2019: $180,000 (33.3% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (0% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Qualifies for period 3

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019

Note: Whatever baseline you initially choose, it must remain the same for each of the following periods

Example 3: Qualifying for all 3 periods

Business "C" eligibility

Period 1: March 15 to April 11 (15% revenue reduction required)

Example 3 - Period 1: March 15 to April 11 (15% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 Mar 2020 Baseline (compare to Mar 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $110,000
  • March 2019: $140,000 (21.4% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (8.3% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Qualifies for period 1

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019

Note: Whatever baseline you initially choose, it must remain the same for each of the following periods

Period 2: April 12 to May 9 (30% revenue reduction required)

Example 3 - Period 2: April 12 to May 9 (30% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 April 2020 Baseline (compare to Apr 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $120,000
  • April 2019: $160,000 (25% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (0% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Qualifies for period 2

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019

Although the employer's revenue has not met the 30% reduction for period 2, because they qualified for period 1, they automatically qualify for the following claim period.

Note: Whatever baseline you initially choose, it must remain the same for each of the following periods

Period 3: May 10 to June 6 (30% revenue reduction required)

Example 3 - Period 3: May 10 to June 6 (30% revenue reduction required): Revenue
Jan 2020 Feb 2020 May 2020 Baseline (compare to May 2020)
$100,000 $140,000 $100,000
  • May 2019: $150,000 (33.3% reduction)
  • Jan/Feb 2020 average: $120,000 (16.6% reduction)

CEWS eligibility: Qualifies for period 3

Baseline chosen: Corresponding month in 2019

Note: Whatever baseline you initially choose, it must remain the same for each of the following periods

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