We’re very aware of the challenges of planning for reopening — and that for many, particularly in the performing arts, the next production is likely to be many months in the future. Understanding the provisions of CEWS may help you with budget decisions.
It’s important to understand a feature of the program that may not have been top of mind while you were sorting out eligibility and the first subsidy claim. You can base your CEWS claim on pre-crisis compensation — not necessarily on the compensation you are paying right now. In your budget planning, you may want to consider reducing salaries temporarily, to reflect reduced current workload, and to shift your salary spending to the fall, after CEWS has ended.
This opens the possibility of reducing compensation now and still being subsidized up to 75% of your staff’s pre-crisis wages. Therefore, if wages are reduced below 75%, they will be subsidized in full. If wages are kept above 75%, anything above that benchmark will be paid by the organization.
Note that due to maximum claim amounts, any employees earning more than $58,700 per year will need different calculations.
Additionally, there’s a special provision for employers who keep staff on payroll when there’s no work for them — AKA “furloughed” staff. CEWS will cover 75% of their wages and 100% of employer CPP and EI costs.
We’d like to remind you about CEBA, the Canada Emergency Business Account, which provides an interest-free loan of up to $40,000.
We are also working with some clients to investigate the possibility of using Work-Sharing as part of their staffing strategy.
If you have any questions about the CEWS, other government programs, or general bookkeeping and financial needs, please contact Young Associates.