Updated: Apr 24, 2020


The immediate impact of COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to workplaces across the country and the world. In recent weeks, new questions have emerged for employers, whether layoffs are appropriate, whether their business qualifies for any government relief, and what new measures exist to help them streamline or optimize payroll expenses?

Join me in the Matrix with Lyn McGaughey, Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) , who helps us navigate employee benefits and welfare through this pandemic and walks us through:

  • Employee layoffs

  • Reducing benefits

  • Deferral of premiums

  • Suspension vs. Termination of benefits policies

  • And yes, she will touch on EI and CERB in the context of employees' benefits

UPDATE | APRIL 24, 2020

The federal government announced this morning that the applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will open next Monday, April 27th.  You will need to apply through your CRA My Business Account so now would be a good time to ensure you are able to sign in and access your account.

The federal government has created a CEWS web site that includes a calculator, definitions and instructions on how to apply.  Here is the link to that site:

The following excerpts are taken directly from the CEWS website:

Who is an eligible employer?

To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must:

  • be an eligible employer

  • have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue (see chart below), AND

  • have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020

What is an eligible reduction in revenue?

You must determine if your reduced revenue makes you eligible to apply for the wage subsidy in a particular period.

If you determine that you qualify for the CEWS for one claim period, you will automatically qualify for the following claim period.

Calculate your reduction by comparing your eligible revenue for the starting of the month of the claim period with your baseline revenue.  Your baseline revenue is either:

  • the revenue you earned in the corresponding month in 2019, or

  • the average of the revenue you earned in January and February 2020

You must choose one of these baseline revenue options for your method of comparison and will not be able to change it for your subsequent calculations for the other 2 periods.

Eligible revenue

Eligible revenue generally includes revenue earned in Canada from:

  • selling goods

  • rendering services, and

  • others’ use of your resources

Use your normal accounting method when calculating revenue. You can use the cash method or accrual method, but you must use the same approach throughout.

Period dates and eligibility

Period 1: March 15 to April 11

March 2020 over: 

  • March 2019 or

  • Average of January and February 2020

Decline in revenues of 15% or more

Period 2

April 12 to May 9

Eligible for Period 1


April 2020 over:

  • April 2019 or

  • Average of January and February 2020

Decline in revenues of 30% or more

Period 3

May 10 to June 6

Eligible for Period 2


May 2020 over:

  • May 2019 or

  • Average of January and February 2020

Decline in revenues of 30% or more

Lyn provides this unsolicited information in the hopes of easing your access to data relevant to the financial well-being of your business. 

Any questions you have are likely best posed to your bookkeeper or accountant, but I am happy to have you contact me if you feel I may be able to assist.


Saskatchewan Government - resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019- novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers/support-for- businesses

Business Response Team: 1-844-800-8688 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday)

SSBEP – Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019- novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers/saskatchewan- small-business-emergency-payment-program

SISP – Self-Isolation Support Program resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019- novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers/support-for- workers/self-isolation-support-program


BCAP – Business Credit Availability Program


CEBA – Canada Emergency Business Account


CEWS – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy


CERB – Canada Emergency Response Benefit - ROE: development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html




As always, feel free to share this information forward with those who you feel would benefit from it.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay #FinanciallyFierce.

See you next time in the Matrix,


#EI #CERB #CEWB #Canada #EmployeeBenefits #Employee #Suspension #Termination #Layoffs #HumanResources #HR #Support #Help #Advice #Updates #Covid #Subsidies

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