COVID - Employment Standards Act

April 16, 2020   

Expansion of the
Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Martin Smith
Martin Smith,

Marla Kuperhause
Marla Kuperhause,

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) is a federal benefit that has come into effect in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic restrictions. The benefit provides $2,000 per month of taxable income to eligible workers in Canada.

Over the last few weeks, the eligibility criteria to qualify for CERB have been criticized for excluding many Canadians. To be eligible under the initial criteria, workers had to have lost all income for 14 consecutive days in the month, and all income in subsequent months. As a result, many workers who are being economically impacted by the pandemic were ineligible.

In response to this criticism, Prime Minister Trudeau announced during his public address on April 15, 2020, that new criteria would be enacted. Seasonal workers and those workers who have recently run out of employment insurance, in addition to people who have made less than $1,000 per month due to reduced work hours, now qualify to receive CERB. The new criteria are intended to expand the reach of the benefit.

The expansion was applauded by the opposition parties that were initially critical of the benefit’s limited reach.

I hope that this finds you all well and keeping safe!

Read up on all MB COVID-19 news and articles.

The chair of the employment law practice group, Martin Smith, can be reached at 613-566-5970 or to answer any of your questions or put you in touch with a member of the firm's employment law practice group in any of our offices in Ottawa, Toronto, London, Kitchener, or Barrie.


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