Bill C-20 – Changes to Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

On Monday July 27th, Bill C-20 received Royal Assent through the Government of Canada. Bill C-20 makes the legislative changes necessary for organizations without a payroll number to be considered an eligible employer within the CEWS.

Originally, the CEWS rules required an organization to have a payroll account registered with the CRA to be eligible. This requirement stymied certain employers who use a payroll provider to fulfill this obligation. Under Bill C-20, the definition of a qualifying entity has been expanded to include entities without a payroll account as long as their payroll is administered by a payroll service provider that does have a registered payroll account and who makes remittances for the employees of the qualifying entity.

In addition to the important change noted above, Bill C-20 also extends the CEWS program to December 19, 2020, updates the subsidy calculations for new qualifying periods (those starting after July 5, 2020), and extends the deadline to file an application for the CEWS for any qualifying period (including qualifying periods 1 to 4) to January 31, 2021. More detailed information regarding changes to the CEWS program are outlined in this article,