COVID-19: Federal “Canada Emergency Response Benefit” Announced

Note: On June 16, 2020 the federal government extended the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit to a maximum of 24 weeks. You can find our latest coverage of the topic here and here.

The federal government announced a new benefit today that will provide relief to employees who lose their income as a result of COVID-19 and are not eligible for Employment Insurance benefits.  It is called the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

The CERB replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit that the federal government announced last week and about which we recently advised you here, in an effort to streamline the application process.  The measure was approved by the House of Commons yesterday and the Prime Minister is encouraging the Senate to pass it quickly.

The CERB will provide those eligible with $2,000 per month for 4 months, as a taxable benefit.  It is available to employees who still have a job but are not getting paid because of COVID-19.

It is anticipated that individuals will be able to apply for the CERB by April 6.  The benefit should be available within 10 days of application.

Please contact any of the Employment and Labour lawyers of Clark Wilson LLP for further information.

For more legal analysis of how COVID may affect your business, or personal affairs, visit Clark Wilson’s COVID-19 Resource and FAQ pages