April 2, 2020
TO ALL IBEW FIRST DISTRICT LOCAL UNIONS
The Government of Canada has released further details on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to provide temporary income support to workers who are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19 and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
1. Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The new Benefit is available to eligible individuals who have stopped work and are without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period, for reasons related to COVID-19. This includes, for example, individuals who temporarily stopped working, lost their job, are sick or in quarantine, or need to care for a child or a family member.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit announced on March 18, 2020.
- Starting April 6, 2020, there will be a single portal to assist with the application process for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Canadians who are eligible for Employment Insurance and who have lost their job can continue to apply for Employment Insurance here.
- If you applied for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
- The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid.
- The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020.Have more questions about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or to see if you qualify? Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at the following Government of Canada link found HERE.
2. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Last week, the Prime Minister announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for eligible businesses. This wage subsidy aims to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, reduce the burden on our Employment Insurance system and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis.
While the Government has designed the proposed wage subsidy to provide generous and timely financial support to employers, it was done with the expectation that employers will do their part by using the subsidy in a manner that supports the health and well-being of their employees. The intention is to provide a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020, with the intention that employers will pay this to their employees. Employers are strongly encouraged to top the remaining 25% of those wages up for employees.
The subsidy amount for a given employee on eligible remuneration paid between March 15 and June 6, 2020 would be the greater of:
- 75 per cent of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
- the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.For more details on Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy please visit the federal government site HERE.Please review the federal governments resource page dedicated to all things related to COVID-19 HERE.You can stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information on the IBEW Canada website on our COVID-19 page.Stay safe and stay healthy.
International Vice PresidentTR/ln
cc: International Representatives IBEW,
System Council #11