New Details – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (July 5, 2020 through June 2021)

COVID-19 Updates & Resources


To support businesses facing challenges due to COVID-19 economic slowdown, businesses, non-profits and charities are eligible for subsidy to help cover the costs of the wages paid to their employees.

The deadline to apply for this subsidy is January 31, 2021 or 180 days after the end of a claim period, whichever comes later.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides a rebate payment to help cover the costs of wages paid during COVID-19.  The program consists of two parts — the 75% wage subsidy which was in effect May 15 through July 4, and a base wage subsidy and top-up program which is in effect July 5 through June 2021.    For more information and to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program please click here  

This page provides information on the CEWS extension from July 5 through December 19 consisting of a base and top-up wage subsidy.  For information on the original 75% wage subsidy from May 15 through July 4 please click here. 


  • Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations and trusts, partnerships consisting of eligible employers, non‑profit organizations and registered charities. Public institutions are generally not eligible for the subsidy.

  • Eligibility also includes
    • Partnerships that are up to 50-per-cent owned by non-eligible members
    • Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers;
    • Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations;
    • Registered Journalism Organizations; and
    • Non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.

Base Subsidy:

  • A base wage subsidy is available to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues, with the subsidy amount varying depending on the scale of revenue decline
  • This base subsidy provides funding for up to 60% of a wage, up to a maximum of $677 per week, for businesses with a 50% decline in gross revenues.  A smaller subsidy is available to businesses with less than a 50% decline in revenues.
  • This maximum subsidy will decrease over time:
    Period Max Base Subsidy
    5) July 5 – August 1 60% / $677.40 per week
    6) August 2 –August 29 60% / $677.40 per week
    7) August 30 – September 26 50% / $564.50 per week
    8) September 27 – October 24 40% / $451.60 per week
    9) October 25 – November 21 40% / $451.60 per week
    10) November 22 – December 19 40% / $451.60 per week
    11) December 20 – January 16, 2021 40% / $451.60 per week
    12) January 17, 2021 – February 13, 2021 40% / $451.60 per week
    13) February 14, 2021 – March 13, 2021 40% / $451.60 per week
    14) Unknown Periods up to June 30, 2021 TBA
  • All eligible employers can access this base wage subsidy if they experienced gross revenue declines in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.  For this new extension, businesses can compare the current month year-over-year or the previous month year-over-year to determine their revenue declines, using whichever month is greater.  For example, for the July 5 – August 1 period, businesses can use either July 2020 over July 2019 or June 2020 over June 2019
  • For those companies for which a year-over-year comparison would not be advantageous, they will still have the option of comparing current revenues instead to the average of their January and February 2020 revenues to show the revenue declines.  Starting in period 5 (July 5 – August 1) applicants can choose which revenue comparison model to use, but then must stick with that through to the end of the program
  • If you have a 50% revenue decline, you will receive the maximum base subsidy as noted above, but if you have less than 50% revenue decline, you can access a reduced subsidy amount.   To determine your subsidy, you take you % of revenue decline and multiply it by the “multiplier” for that period.  The multipliers are below.
  • For example, if during the August 30 – September 26 period you have revenue declines of 20%, you would get a 20% wage subsidy. (20% declines x 1.0 multiplier) But, in the following period if you still have 20% declines, you would get only a 16% wage subsidy (20% declines x 0.8 multiplier).
    Period Multiplier
    5) July 5 – August 1 1.2
    6) August 2 –August 29 1.2
    7) August 30 – September 26 1.0
    8) September 27 – October 24 0.8
    9) October 25 – November 21 0.8
    10) November 22 – December 19 0.8
    11) December 20 – January 16, 2021 0.8
    12) January 17, 2021 – February 13, 2021 0.8
    13) February 14, 2021 – March 13, 2021 0.8
    14) Unknown Periods up to June 30, 2021 TBA

Top Up Subsidy 

  • Employers facing a revenue decline of 50% or more in a period will be eligible for a top-up to a higher wage subsidy.
  • For the July 5 to September 26 periods, employers that have a 3-month average revenue drop of more than 50% would receive a top-up equal to 1.25 times the revenue drop over 50% cent, up to a maximum top-up rate of 25%.   In other words, the top-up equals 1.25 x (3 month revenue drop – 50%).  The comparison would be the most recent 3-month period in 2020 compared to the same 3-month period in 2019 (or compared to Jan-Feb 2020 average under the alternative option).
    • For example, if a business has a 3-month average decline of 60% during the August 30-September 26 period, they would be eligible for a 62.5% wage subsidy. 1.25 x (60% declines – 50%) = 12.5% top-up, which gets added to the base wage subsidy rate
  • For periods 8, 9 and 10 (September 27 to December 19), the base and top-up wage subsidies would be determined by the decline in revenues in the current or previous month, and no longer based on a 3 month rolling average. The top us is calculated as 40% + 1.25 x (revenue drop – 50%), up to a maximum 25% top up.   For these periods, the top up kicks in at any revenue declines over 50% and maxes out at revenue declines of 70% which would generate a 65% wage subsidy.
    • For example, a business with a 65% decline in October revenues would be eligible for a 56.25% wage subsidy:  40% + [ 1.25 x (65% – 50%) ]
  • For periods 11 to 13 (December 20, 2020 to March 13, 2021), the top up is being increased to a maximum of 35%

Other Rules

  • Safe Harbour Rule
    • Because the new rules came out midway through the July 5 – August 1 period, there are rules that guarantee that a business is entitled to a wage subsidy rate NOT LOWER than what they would have gotten if the rules were in place from the original periods
    • This means that in Periods 5 and 6, (July 5 – August 1 and August 2 – August 29) an eligible employer with a revenue decline of 30% or more would receive a wage subsidy of at least 75% in accordance to the old rules
    • For Periods 8 through 10, an eligible employer would be entitled to a top-up wage subsidy rate not lower than the rate that it would be entitled to if its entitlement were calculated under the three month revenue-decline test,
  • Deeming Rule
    • For Period 5 (July 5 – August 1) and all subsequent periods, an eligible employer can choose to usee either the revenue declines of the current period, or those of the previous period for the purpose of determining its qualification for the base wage subsidy
    • This essentially means there is an automatic qualification at the same revenue decline level for two periods in a row. It also means that you would get one last month of CEWS support even if your revenues show no decline in the current month as long as your previous month did have a revenue decline

How to Apply and Get the Subsidy

  • Organizations will need to apply directly to get the subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency here
  • The subsidy will work like a rebate, with each application covering the wages paid during a specified reporting period.  Applications open only after a period has concluded.