The OAF Blog

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

March 30, 2020


During this morning’s address to the country, Prime Minister Trudeau offered more important details on the Government of Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy that was first announced on Friday of last week.

The following eligibility parameters and details were announced:

  • Businesses that can show that their revenues have decreased at least 30% since the start of the pandemic will be eligible for the 75% wage subsidy.

  • The assessment of the 30% revenue drop will be done after the fact. If the drop was actually not this low, the company will have to repay.

  • The number of employees a company has will not determine eligibility.

  • The subsidy will apply to non-profit and charities, as well as companies that are both big and small (no cap).

  • The government will cover up to 75% of the first $58,700 that employees earn. That means up to approximately $847 a week. This will be backdated to March 15.

  • The subsidy will be a direct payment to the company so they can pay employees.


The Prime Minister indicated that there will be additional background documents and details coming tomorrow, including the estimated fiscal cost of the new program, from both the Minister of Finance and Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.

In his remarks after announcing the new details of the Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Prime Minister also made very clear that any businesses that seek to take advantage of the new program, or game it, will face strict consequences – expect those details tomorrow as well. He also noted that should employers be able to cover the additional 25% of salaries not covered by the subsidy, they should pay their employees that difference.

For more information:  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-covid19-business-supports-1.5514558


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