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History of changes to the CEWS - Managing your business during COVID-19

The CEWS was available from March 15, 2020, to October 23, 2021. As of April 22, 2022, you may no longer apply for any period of the CEWS.

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Timeline of changes

October 2021 changes

As of October 24, 2021, the CEWS was replaced with two new programs offering wage and rent support:

  • the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
  • the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program

Find information about applying for all available COVID-19 wage subsidies for businesses.

July 2021 changes

On July 30, 2021, the Government announced the following changes:

  • the wage subsidy has been extended to October 23, 2021
  • the rate of CEWS will now remain the same for claim period 20 as for period 19, declining in period 21
  • eligible employers that were not operating on March 1, 2019, may now choose to use the alternative approach to calculate their revenue drop for claim periods 14 to 17

The necessary regulatory changes were registered on August 12, 2021, and published in the Canada Gazette on September 1, 2021.

A proposed change announced on July 30, 2021, would remove the ability to claim CPP, QPP, EI, and QPIP amounts for employees on leave with pay for claim periods 20 and later.

June 2021 changes

Changes to the CEWS as of claim period 17 (Bill C-30):

April 2021 changes

If you missed the deadline for a claim period, you may now ask us to review your late request to apply for the subsidy (or increase your previously-claimed subsidy amount) under certain circumstances. You have a limited time to send a late request, and you must contact us first to see if you qualify.

What to do if you missed a claim period deadline

March 2021 changes

On March 3, 2021, the Government announced proposed details for upcoming CEWS claim periods from March 14 to June 5, 2021 (claim periods 14 to 16):

  • the maximum wage subsidy rate for active employees will remain at 75%
  • the revenue drop will continue to compare your eligible revenue to a time prior to March 2020 (specific comparison months and years are listed for each claim period)
  • you may use a new pre-crisis pay period when calculating an employee’s pre-crisis pay (baseline remuneration) for the new claim periods
  • the maximum subsidy amount for employees on leave with pay will remain at $595
February 2021 changes

On February 24, 2021, the government announced a technical change that would bring the CEWS legislation in line with the CRA’s current application of the deeming rule for claim period 11.

The online calculator and spreadsheet already applied the deeming rule this way, so employers who used these calculators do not need to update their previous claims as a result of this update.

Read about the deeming rule for period 11

January 2021 changes

Changes to CEWS as of January 6, 2021:

  • details for claim periods 11 to 13 (December 20, 2020, to March 13, 2021):
    • the maximum top-up subsidy rate is 35%
    • the maximum subsidy amount for employees on leave with pay is $595
    • the base revenue drop comparison months for period 11 will be the same as period 10
November 2020 changes

Changes to CEWS as of November 19, 2020 (Bill C-9):

  • the subsidy is extended to June 2021
  • the maximum subsidy rate for periods 8 to 10 will remain at 65% (40% base rate + 25% top-up)
  • beginning in period 8, the top-up rate and base rate are is now calculated using the same one-month revenue drop
    • for periods 8 to 10, use the new top-up calculation or the previous 3-month average drop, whichever works in your favour
  • the deadline to apply is January 31, 2021 Footnote 1, or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes later
  • starting in period 9, the calculation for employees on leave with pay now aligns better with EI benefits
  • you can now calculate pre-crisis pay (baseline remuneration) for employees who were on certain kinds of leave, retroactive to period 5
  • the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) has been introduced for businesses, non-profits, and charities
July 2020 changes

Changes to CEWS as of claim period 5 (Bill C-20):

  • 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
    • for periods 5 and 6, if your revenue dropped at least 30%, your subsidy rate will be at least 75%, up to a maximum of $847/week per eligible employee
  • employers who were hardest hit can qualify for 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
Periods 1 to 4

For claim periods 1 to 4 (Bill C-14):

  • 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

Past calculations and eligibility rules

You can continue to use the online calculator or spreadsheet to determine subsidy amounts for all past claim periods.

In the CEWS technical guide, you can read about claim periods and deadlines, rates, eligibility factors, and calculations as they applied to all claim periods:

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