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On April 6, I posted this blog summarizing the main features of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). On April 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced further changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). Note that the proposed changes have not yet been formalized in legislation.

Applicants may earn up to $1,000 in income: Previously, only those who had stopped working and earned no income for at least 14 consecutive days in an Eligibility Period (see chart below) were eligible for CERBs. This restriction has been modified and workers can now earn up to $1000 during an Eligibility Period. However, as has been the case with all government support programs responding to the pandemic, the devil is in the details. We will not have complete answers to the questions which will undoubtedly arise about the implementation of this change until we can review the new regulation, which we trust will clarify the application of this new rule.

Eligibility Periods: The updated CERB site also now provides that CERB eligibility is assessed based on pre-determined (not rolling) four-week periods, as follows: 

Eligibility Periods Dates
March 15, 2020 to April 11, 2020 
April 12, 2020 to May 9, 2020 
May 10, 2020 to June 6, 2020 
June 7, 2020 to July 4, 2020 
July 5, 2020 to August 1, 2020 
August 2, 2020 to August 29, 2020 
August 30, 2020 to September 26, 2020 

Seasonal workers eligible: Seasonal workers unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of COVID-19 will also now be eligible for CERBs.   

As always, Siskinds Labour & Employment Group will continue to monitor the ever-changing legislative landscape and will provide further information as soon as it becomes available.

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