OTTAWA — A promised federal wage subsidy to cover three-quarters of salaries will go to any company — large, medium or small — charity or non-profit that can show it has seen revenues drop sharply due to COVID-19.
The 75-per-cent subsidy on wages meant to cushion the blow from the pandemic will be available to employers that can show their revenues have fallen by at least 30 per cent due to COVID-19.
The wages the subsidy covers will be capped at $847 a week and backdated to March 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
Speaking outside his Ottawa residence, he said the size of the company or the number of employees will not bear on whether it qualifies for the help, in line with what other countries have done.
He asked companies that get the subsidy to rehire workers laid off over the last two weeks, and ensure that all the money through the program goes to employees.
Trudeau says companies that can pay their employees without federal help should do so, warning of consequences for businesses caught abusing federal financial aid — although he isn’t providing details.
He says the program will have to rely in some measure on employers sticking to the honour system when applying for help. He adds there will be an oversight system, but isn’t providing details today.
“We are trusting you to do the right thing. If you have the means to pay the remaining 25 per cent that’s not covered by the subsidy, please do so,” Trudeau said.
“And if you think this is a system you can take advantage of or game, don’t. There will be serious consequences for those who do.”
More of the details, including the estimated cost of the measure, will be available tomorrow, Trudeau said.