WorkSafeBC is waiving premiums for employers who are approved to receive the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for furloughed workers (employees on leave with full or partial pay).
WorkSafeBC recognizes the challenges employers are facing during this extraordinary time, and in light of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, will waive premiums on wages paid to furloughed workers of employers receiving CEWS subsidies. This change will be retroactive to the March 15, 2020 start date and continue for the duration of the CEWS program. Eligible employers will need to maintain documentation to identify workers who were furloughed as a result of this provincial health emergency.
This is the second measure WorkSafeBC has implemented to provide support for B.C.’s employers. Approximately 27,000 employers in the province have already opted to take advantage of the premium deferral measure implemented on March 27, 2020. Employers will not be charged a penalty or interest on first quarter premiums, up to the deferral date of June 30, 2020.
Waiving premiums for employers of furloughed workers will help support the rehiring of employees who may have already been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will help better position employers who are considering reopening in the coming weeks. WorkSafeBC is committed to providing essential services to B.C.’s workers and employers and will continue to review support measures during this time.
The CEWS was announced on April 1, 2020 to help employers protect jobs and rehire employees during the coronavirus crisis. The federal government recently extended the CEWS by an additional 12 weeks from June 6 to August 29, 2020.
Employers can use this worksheet WorkSafeBC Assessable Earnings Reduction Calculation to calculate the amounts to exclude from assessable payroll for furloughed workers who were eligible for a CEWS subsidy.