As this is a rapidly changing environment, the information contained in this summary document may not be the most up to date and we have used best efforts to provide the most accurate information available at the time of writing. Please follow the links provided to obtain the latest information.
Over the past weeks there have been a number of government announcements at the federal and provincial level addressing the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals. Below is a summary of some areas that may assist sport organizations in managing their employees and business in this unsettled time.
Federal Government Financial Initiatives
Additional Information on these initiatives can be found here Canada’s Covid-19 Economic Response Plan
Support For Business
Temporary Wage Subsidy
Eligible small employers (including not for profits) may be able to receive a temporary wage subsidy for a three-month period equivalent to 10% of remuneration paid up to a maximum of $1,375/employee and $25,000 per employer. Employers can immediately reduce their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remunerations. This applies to the period March 18, 2020 to June 20, 2020. Additional information can be found here: Temporary Wage Subsidy
Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes
Businesses can defer payment of income tax amounts until after August 31, 2020. This applies to amounts owing as well as installment payments. Not interest or penalties will be charged.
Business Credit Availability Program (run by the Business Development bank and Export Development Canada) will provide an additional $10 billion dollars in loans to qualifying small and medium businesses. In addition, the risk weighted asset rate is lowered to 1.25% allowing more businesses to qualify for loans. Contact your bank for information on this program.
Support for Individuals
Flexibility for Taxpayers
- Deferral of 2019 income tax filing until June 1, 2020
- Deferral of income tax payments until After August 31, 2020. This includes amounts owed on 2019 income tax filing as well as 2020 installment payments. No penalties or interest will be charged
Goods & Services Tax Credit
- Low and modest income families who qualify for the Goods and Services Tax Credit can receive a one time HST payment by early May 2020 of approximately $400 for singles and $600 for couples.
Canada Child Benefit
- An additional $300/child as part of their May 2020 payment
Canada Student Loans
- 6 month interest-free moratorium on repayment for Canada Student Loans
Mortgage Default Management tools
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp is providing mortgage payment relief by permitting lenders to allow payment deferral. Contact mortgage provider for details.
Support for Workers
Emergency Response Benefit
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April. More information can be found here CERB
For individuals without paid sick leave who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children or someone who is sick:
- 1 week waiting period for Employment Insurance claims removed for those individuals forced or recommended to be in quarantine or isolation.
- Waiving the requirement to provide medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits
Provincial and Territorial Government Business and Employee Initiatives
Most provinces have announced some form of relief for businesses and employees in relation to COVID-19. Check these links for the most up to date information
Manitoba – no information available
New Brunswick – no information available
Newfoundland – no information available
Nunavut – no information available
Organizations considering temporary layoffs must abide by the provincial employment standards act with regards to maximum duration of the temporary layoff and consider the common law implications of temporary layoffs which may be construed as constructive dismissal (please consult with a lawyer). Links to the relevant provincial ESA’s can be found through the links below:
Records of Employment
During this time of heightened layoffs due to COVID-19, it is important that employers complete the Record of Employment correctly so that there is no delay in employees being able to access EI benefits. Of particular importance is ensuring that the Reason Code included on the ROE is correct.
Depending on the circumstances, your COVID-19 related reason codes will either be:
- A – Shortage of Work: If company is temporarily closing because of COVID-19 or parts of their business are shutting down
- D – Illness or Injury: If employee has COVID-19 or if employee came back from a trip and is in quarantine
- N – Leave of Absence: If employee is staying home because of no daycare or if employee refuses to work because of COVID-19 or if employee is back from trip not sick but Mandatory Quarantine
For layoffs related to COVID-19, it is very important that the employer does NOT enter anything in Box 18 of the ROE. Any ROE’s that have notes in this box will be removed from the automated processing system and transferred to a case worker. This will greatly increase the processing time for the EI claim.
As mentioned at the beginning this is a very fluid time and new announcements are being made daily. We will endeavour to update this posting as quickly as possible and we encourage you to check the links provided on a regular basis.