NOKTogether | Wage subsidy applications open Aug. 17

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy helps employers who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic keep workers on their payroll or bring previously laid-off employees back to work. 

To ensure that Canadian workers and businesses are in a better position as our economy safely re-opens, the Government has recently implemented changes to the CEWS that broaden the reach of the program and provide better targeted support.  The CRA will open applications for CEWS period 5 on Aug. 17, 2020.

Enhancements to the CEWS program

Over the last months, the Government of Canada conducted consultations with stakeholders to discuss potential adjustments to the CEWS program. 

On July 27,  Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, received Royal Assent, ensuring that the CEWS will continue to protect jobs by helping employers keep workers on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off.  Specifically, the changes introduced in the Bill C-20 will:

  • Allow the extension of the CEWS, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
  • Make the subsidy more accessible to a broader range of employers by providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues. This will help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold.
  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.
  • Address technical issues with the CEWS identified by stakeholders, for example by providing continuity rules to address circumstances where an employer purchased all or substantially all of another entity‚Äôs business assets.
  • Make the proposed amendments to the CEWS previously introduced in Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures.

Period 5 Applications

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is currently updating its systems to prepare to accept applications for period 5 (July 5 to August 1). 
The CRA will open applications for CEWS period 5 on August 17, 2020.

Consistent with the previous schedule, subsequent application claim periods will be accessible every four weeks.

Information at is also being updated to provide employers with the detailed information they need on the enhanced program, such as new instructions about who can now apply, how to determine eligibility, and how to calculate the subsidy. We expect to make this information available prior to August 17, so that employers can prepare the information needed to file their applications.

Supporting a variety of Canadian businesses across Canada

The CRA is committed to remaining open, transparent and accountable.  We are continuing to make CEWS statistics available weekly and have launched new aggregate data tables that break down approved CEWS claims by:

  • Claim period;
  • Province / Territory;
  • Applicant size; and
  • Industry, as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

The new aggregate data tables are available at

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