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Moving Away from the CERB: Redesigning the CEWS Program

July 22, 2020

On Friday July 17, 2020, the federal Government released draft legislation aimed at significant revisions to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) program. The draft legislation comes as the country re-opens, businesses call employees back to work and fewer employees access the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). The Government notes that the goal of the CEWS program is to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire employees previously laid off. Launched in April (see our previous update describing the CEWS here), the take-up by Canadian employers has not been as significant as the government expected and there has been criticism that the process and legislation are too complex. The changes proposed, although designed to broaden the CEWS to make it accessible to a broader group of businesses, are no less complex.   

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