We are forwarding this email from the Siskinds Employment and Labour Law Group, re Federal Assistance To Employees Off Work Due To Covid-19, as some of you may find your work affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and may be eligible for this financial assistance.
You can also keep up to date through the Canada.ca website
New Federal Assistance for Employees Off Work Due to COVID-19
Yesterday, federal legislation passed creating the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). This benefit replaces two benefits announced by the federal government on March 18, 2020 — Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit – both of which now will not be implemented.
The CERB will provide workers with $2000/month for up to four months, whether employed or self-employed, if they cease working “for reasons related to COVID-19" and as a result have no income (including EI benefits) for at least 14 consecutive days, as long as they did not resign. Payments will be retroactive and will cover the 14-day qualifying period. This is a very broad net and does not depend on whether or not the worker qualifies for EI; rather, the CERB is intended both to direct money into workers’ pockets as quickly as possible and to take some of the pressure off the EI system, which the government admits was not designed to handle the current volume of applications.
Employers who are considering options for reducing operations during this unprecedented situation may wish to advise employees taking Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 or otherwise temporarily unable to work due to COVID-19 to apply for the CERB.
Workers already receiving EI regular or sickness benefits will continue to receive their benefits and should not apply for the CERB, but otherwise, the government’s preference appears to be for new applicants to request the CERB rather than EI. Those who are eligible for EI regular/sickness benefits will still be able to access those EI benefits if they are still not working after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.
The portal for applying for the CERB will likely be live in early April, and employees will be able to apply by accessing it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal, through their secure My Service Canada Account; or by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.
PROGRAM COORDINATOR, HAMILTON SATELLITE OFFICE
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO MILITARY FAMILY RESOURCE CENTRE
COORDONNATEUR DE PROGRAMME, BUREAU SATELLITE DE HAMILTON
CENTRE DE RESSOURCES POUR LES FAMILLES DES MILITARES DU SUD-OUEST DE L’ONTARIO
If you have a Military Family emergency outside of Military Family Resource Centre office hours, please contact the Military Family Information Line at 1-800-866-4546.