Back to Work in Manitoba Wage Subsidy Program

On July 15, 2020, the government of Manitoba announced the Back to Work in Manitoba initiative, a hiring program designed to encourage employers to recall or hire new employees.

This program aims to provide assistance to Manitoba employers by covering half of the wages paid for up to ten employees until the fall of 2020.

Note that this program is in addition to the Manitoba Back to Work this Summer Program, details of which can be found in our “Manitoba Back to Work This Summer Program” blog.

Program Details

Employers who meet the below criteria can receive reimbursement of 50% of the total wages paid to designated employees over the period of July 16, 2020 to October 31, 2020, to a maximum of $5,000 per worker. Employers can apply to receive funding for a maximum of ten positions and receive up to $50,000.

The funding is only applicable for wages paid to employees hired on or after the date the employer submitted its application for this program. Business owners are not eligible to receive reimbursement for wages paid to themselves.

The reimbursement to the employer will be made as a lump sum payment once the employer provides proof of the payment of wages, which must be submitted by January 4, 2021. If all employer obligations are met, payment will be made within 14 days of providing proof of payment of wages.

The program is open to all workers who are legally entitled to work in Canada, including students, with the exception of the employer’s immediate family members (parents, siblings, spouse or children). All positions are eligible for funding, regardless of work hours (full time, part-time and casual) and term (permanent, contract and seasonal).

There is no maximum wage amount that can be reimbursed, although the maximum amount of reimbursement is $5,000 per worker.

The employer cannot request funding for existing workers, although eligible workers may be a previous employee laid off due to COVID-19, provided that they had not been recalled prior to July 16, 2020. Additionally, if the employer is hiring a new employee to participate in this program they cannot displace any existing workers.

Note that employers who received support under the Manitoba Back to Work this Summer Program and Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program are eligible to receive support to hire 10 new employees under this program.

Eligibility Requirements

Employers who meet all of the following criteria can apply to participate in the Back to Work in Manitoba Wage Subsidy Program:

  • Must be a Manitoba-based business or non-profit organization operating in the Province of Manitoba.
  • Must have an active business number, business bank account and email address.
  • Must be registered and in good standing with the Companies Office (not required for sole proprietors).
  • Cannot receive funding for any positions that are already being subsidized by another government program. This includes:
    • the Canada Summer Job Program;
    • Green Team;
    • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy;
    • Manitoba Back to Work this Summer Program; and
    • Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program.

Participation in the Federal government’s 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers does not disqualify employers from participating in Back to Work in Manitoba Wage Subsidy Program.

  • Cannot be in arrears for taxes owing to the Province of Manitoba as of March 20, 2020 (before the state of emergency). This does not include businesses that have deferred taxes as a result of COVID-19 relief programs to defer tax remittances.
  • Cannot be a multi-level marketing business or a passive business/corporate entity.
  • Cannot have an active Manitoba Business Start Loan Guarantee, a loan under the Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program, or an agreement under The Community Revitalization Tax Increment Financing Act.
  • Cannot be a public sector employer, including public health, educational institutions, and municipal/provincial/federal governments and agencies and political parties.

Employer Obligations

  • Must follow all federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulatory requirements.
  • Must observe the Province of Manitoba’s COVID-19 public health guidelines in the workplace.
  • Must keep complete and accurate payroll, employment and accounting records, financial documents and other records for each worker hired under this program.

Application

  • Employers can submit their application to participate in the program online here.
  • The deadline for participating in the program is October 1, 2020, with a deadline to submit proof of wages by January 4, 2021.

MLT Aikins will continue to monitor the situation and keep employers appraised of any further details. Employers considering the impact of the plan and how it applies to their business should contact a member of our labour and employment team in Winnipeg.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice of opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.