From: Department of Finance Canada

Current status: Open

Opened on May 25, 2020 and will close to input on June 5, 2020.

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support Canadians and protect jobs during the global COVID-19 outbreak. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which was announced on April 1, 2020, helps employers protect jobs, rehire employees, and provide workers with a decent income. The subsidy covers 75 per cent of an employee’s wages (up to $847 per week) for employers who have been hard-hit by COVID-19.

This consultation will help inform potential changes to the CEWS to help maximize employment and best meet the needs of businesses and workers during these challenging times.

How to participate: 


Share your experience by taking a short survey.


Provide us with in-depth feedback on the guiding questions below by email.

Who is the focus of this consultation?

The Department of Finance Canada is seeking information and feedback from businesses of all sizes, labour representatives, not-for-profits and charities on potential changes to the program, with a view to maximize employment in Canada and encourage growth.

Key questions for consideration:

The consultation seeks input on the eight questions intended to inform advice to the government on potential changes to the program.

  • Are there specific challenges associated with the CEWS program? For example, are there challenges with respect to its accessibility, its incentive impacts, or any other aspect?
  • What adjustments to the CEWS would you propose to provide the right level of support to those most affected by the pandemic while supporting the economic recovery?
  • Would adding complexity to the CEWS program be acceptable in order to expand access to this support, or better target support to those who need it?
  • To what extent are employers using the CEWS to provide support to furloughed employees as compared to using it as a means to pay active employees? Do employers value maintaining ties with furloughed employees by keeping them on the payroll? Should the level of support for furloughed employees be the same as for active employees?
  • What are the key barriers to rehiring workers recently laid off due to the pandemic? 
  • Are there specific factors that are preventing or discouraging employers from applying for the CEWS?
  • If you are a seasonal business are there any unique challenges you are facing in relation to the CEWS?  
  • How do you foresee the CEWS interacting with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) over this extended period? Do you have any additional comments about the CERB? 

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