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A Further Update on COVID-19

April 1, 2020
by Israel Foulon LLP


Since our March 30, 2020 E-Bulletin, there have been further important announcements of which employers should be aware (a few key details are listed below):

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be available to all non-profits, charities, and businesses (regardless of size or the number of employees) whose revenues have decreased by at least 30%.
    • Under the program, 75% of employees’ salaries will be covered on the first $58,700 that employees earn – up to $847 per week – for up to three (3) months. The program will be backdated to March 15, 2020. The government is emphasizing that employers must do everything they can to pay the remaining 25% of wages.
    • The 30% decrease in revenue will be based on comparing revenue to the same period last year (e.g., revenue from March 2020 to revenue from March 2019). Employers will need to reapply each month of the program.
    • The online application for the program will be available through a Canada Revenue Agency Portal that will soon be launched. The government has announced that funds would be available in approximately six (6) weeks.
    • The government has announced that the program is expected to cost $71 billion, and has warned that there will be severe penalties for misuse and/or fraud.
    • More details on the program will be formally announced in the coming days but comments that were made by Minister Morneau at a news conference on April 1, 2020 indicated that employers would have to prove the employee had been paid and then the money would be “returned to them” by the CRA. Minister Morneau also indicated the government is still determining how to apply the 30% decrease in revenue to newer businesses that did not exist in 2019, but stated that it may be that revenue in March 2020 gets compared to the month immediately prior.
    • Israel Foulon LLP will send out a further E-Bulletin as new details are formalized.
  • The Ontario government has announced that schools and child care centres will be closed until at least May 4, 2020.

Given the exceptional and unprecedented situation, we expect further developments in the coming hours and days.

Israel Foulon’s Response to COVID-19

Israel Foulon is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients, absent extraordinary

circumstances we are working remotely until further notice whenever possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID- 19 or any other employment or labour matters.

Legal Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, which in all circumstances must be tailored to the specific facts of any problem. You should obtain a proper legal consultation in order to determine how this article applies to your specific situation. Please feel free to contact Israel Foulon LLP to learn more at 416-640-1550.