On Friday, July 30, Canada’s Finance Minister confirmed the extension of assistance programs to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic until October 23, 2021. Thus, businesses will be able to continue to benefit from wage subsidy support. Canada (SSUC) and Canada to Support Emergency Lease (SUCL).
Chrystia FreelandThe announcement was made with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Integration, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, Carla Caltro.
At the end of May, the government announced that these programs would end on September 21, and that maximum aid amounts would be reduced.
The reduction in the announced aid was confirmed last spring, but it will take place during the period from September 26 to October 23, 2021. The support rate is thus maintained for the period from August 29 to September 25, 2021.
For example, for companies that are still experiencing a reduction in their income of 70% or more, rental assistance is maintained at 40% until September 25, but it will be 20% for the next four weeks. The maximum wage support per employee, which will be $452 through September 25, 2021, will be reduced to $226 for the period during which the support is extended.
CFIB . response
in the same day , Canadian Federation of Independent Business CFIB responded positively to this announcement. “With only 35% of SMEs returning to their normal sales levels, maintaining these programs is great news,” she said in a press release.
However, the CFIB maintains its online petition calling for continued federal government assistance programs until the economic recovery becomes more advanced. According to the organization, many small and medium-sized businesses are still suffering from reduced demand due to restrictions on their capacity, border closures and consumers’ reluctance to resume their normal activities.
The CFIB also regrets that new companies still do not have access to SSUC and SUCL, nor are they eligible for the New Canadian Employment Economic Recovery (PEREC) program. In her online petition, she still required that the grant portion of the Canadian Corporate Contingency Account (CUEC) be increased to 50% of the amount received and that the loan be repaid after December 2022.
PEREC replaces wage support and runs from June 6 to November 20, 2021, allowing employers to transition to this new support measure at their own pace. Thus SMEs can hire workers and increase their working hours as the economy recovers.
The CFIB notes that the Canadian Economic Recovery Advantage (PCRE), which has also been extended by one month, still has negative effects on employment in many sectors. According to it, PCRE or other employment insurance measure, in particular, must ensure that benefits paid to part-time workers do not exceed the wages they were receiving prior to the pandemic.
PCRE and other similar supports are also being extended to family caregivers and families, but at a rate of $300 per week, program eligibility is now at 54 weeks. People who have exhausted their employment insurance benefits are entitled to these additional weeks.
In addition, the federal government supports the announcement in Freeland’s 2021-2022 budget regarding wage subsidy provided to employees on compulsory leave. It will not be introduced after August 28, 2021. The end of the benefit also relates to the portion of the employer’s contributions to various retirement plans, employment insurance, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Scheme (RQA).
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