March 18, 2020

We are doing all that we can at MacDonald & Associates to ensure assistance to all as, together, we navigate this unprecedented world health crisis.  We will continue to monitor the Federal and Provincial government responses, World Health Organization (WHO) and world news updates regarding COVID-19.  We will continue to provide daily updates to you with essential information to equip you to make the necessary decisions to maintain the health and safety of your employees.  Natalie and Mackenzie are writing for the Globe and Mail, while Kathryn is writing for the National Post in order to comment on employment issues as they are impacted by COVID-19.

This morning, the Federal government unveiled their Emergency Response Plan to assist employers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic which includes $27 billion emergency support benefit package for businesses and workers in Canada, and a $55 billion tax deferral program to assist employers in meeting their liquidity needs. The cost and implementation of this plan can be found here.

 

For Business this means:

 

  • Temporary Business Wage Subsidy

Effective immediately, the Federal government will provide a wage subsidy for eligible Small Businesses of 10% of the salaries of their employees for up to 3 months, representing up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer, to encourage employers to keep their employees on payroll.

 

  • Corporate Tax Filing Extension

The Federal government has extended the deadline for corporate tax filing until September 1, 2020.

 

  • Employment Insurance Changes

The Federal government has implemented an Emergency Care Benefit which will provide benefits comparable to that of employment insurance to workers who do not qualify for employment insurance at this time.

  • Business Credit Availability Program

The Federal government has immediately increased the credit availability for businesses through BDC and EDC to $10 billion

 

For Workers this means:

 

1) Temporary Income Support for Workers Who Have to Quarantine or Care For a Family Member:

 

The Federal government announced the Emergency Care Benefit, which provides up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. It will provide income to workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits, or who can not work because they need to care for their school-aged children or a sick family member.  Prior to that, the Federal government amended EI for those who become sick or quarantined by waiving the 1-week waiting period for sick benefits, and the requirement for medical documentation.  It has also extended the 15 week limit to cover the time it takes to deal with COVID-19. Applications for this benefit will be available April 2020

 

2) Income Support for Self-Employed:

 

The Federal Government announced the Emergency Support Benefit which will come into effect in April 2020, and will provide financial assistance to self-employed individuals who have to cease activities as a result of COVID-19 and those who do not qualify for EI.

 

3) Increased Child Canada Benefit:

 

The Federal Government announced that it will increase the Child Canada Benefit available to parents, and allocated $1.9 Billion to this. Further information can be found here.