Canadian Businesses: What are the Work-Sharing & Business Credit Availability Programs?

Push Operations
December 10, 2020

Disclaimer: This is guide is provided by Push Technologies Inc. (“Push Operations”) for information purposes only. This is not an official or legal document and should not be taken as legal advice. Push Operations does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check with the proper governing authority.

Here are some government programs available:

Business Credit Availability Program? (BCAP)

What is it?

  • A program that helps Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty. The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.
  • The objective of the Business Credit Availability Program is to improve access to financing for credit-worthy Canadian businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted.
  • Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide more than $10 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. By working in close cooperation with financial institutions, this program will fill gaps in market access and leverage additional lending by private sector institutions

Who is eligible?

  • According to Service Canada, all credit-worthy businesses with viable business models whose activities fall within the mandate of either the Business Development Bank of Canada and/or the Export Development Canada (EDC) are eligible to benefit from BCAP.

How to apply:

  • Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship, so that the financial institutions may assess the client’s financial request.
  • If the needs of the client exceed the level of support the financial institution is able to provide, the financial institution will work alongside BDC or EDC to access additional resources the Government has made available under BCAP.

Work-Sharing Program

What is it?

Work-Sharing is an Employment Insurance (EI) program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs. The program allows employers to retain employees when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer.

Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

Equal sharing of work: All members of a Work Sharing unit agree to reduce their hours of work by the same percentage and to share the available work

  • Expected work reduction: A Work Sharing unit must reduce its hours of work by at least 10% to 60%. The reduction of hours can vary from week to week, as long as the average reduction over the course of the agreement is from 10% to 60%
  • Agreement length and extension: A WS agreement has to be at least 6 consecutive weeks long and can last up to 26 consecutive weeks. Employers may be able to extend their agreements up to a total of 76 weeks

Who is eligible?


  • Have you been in business for at least 1 year?
  • Does your business normally operate year-round?
  • Is your business a publicly held company, not for profit or private business?
  • Do you have 2 or more employees that are normally year-round permanent, full or part time that are ‘core’ staff for your business?


  • Would these employees be eligible and willing to receive Employment Insurance benefits and agree to a reduction in hours to share any available work?
  • be “core employees” (that is, year round permanent full-time or part-time employees who are required to carry out the everyday functions of normal business activity)
  • be eligible to receive Employment Insurance benefits; and
  • agree to a reduction of their normal working hours in order to share the available work

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may be eligible for the Work-Sharing program and the Special Measures for COVID-19.

How to Apply:

Submit your application via email

You will have to register and it can be a lengthy process. If you are applying for a new agreement, you must submit the following documents:


1. For the Work-Share program - what are the guidelines for the amount of salary or EI the employee gets paid?

As per Service Canada, wages are calculated as follows:

Wages calculation under a Work-Sharing agreement

The amount of benefits paid for a week of Work-Sharing is calculated by comparing the hours of work missed because of the Work-Sharing agreement against the hours the claimant would have normally worked. Benefits are paid as a percentage of hours missed.

For example:

- weekly benefit rate = $500.00

- the normal work week was 40 hours prior to the Work-Sharing agreement, and

- in the week under consideration, the claimant works 30 hours, and misses 10 hours of work due to the Work-Sharing agreement

In this case, the claimant has worked 30 out of a possible 40 hours. Therefore, 10 out of 40 hours were lost due to the Work-Sharing agreement, or 25%. This claimant will be entitled to 25% of their benefit rate, or $125.00, for the 10 hours missed because of the Work-Sharing agreement.

Establishment of the Employment Insurance benefit rate

The EI benefit rate for each employee is established at the start of the Work-Sharing agreement after the submission of a claim. The benefit rate is established in the same manner as the benefit rate for all other EI claims.

The Work-Sharing benefit payable in any given week is based on the employee’s loss in normal average weekly earnings. It is expected that workers will make themselves available for work that is offered to them while participating in Work-Sharing. Earnings received from sources other than Work-Sharing need to be reported by each claimant.

2. For the Work Sharing program, we have employees we do not want to layoff but our work is cut by 90% currently. How does it work?

If you would like to participate in the Work Sharing program, you will need to submit an application via email. Your application will then be reviewed by a Service Canada Program Officer to ensure that it meets program criteria and that all the necessary information has been provided. The Program Officer will also review and validate the statements made by the employer. The recovery plan will be assessed within the context of the business itself, the needs of the community in which the business operates, and the conditions within the industry at the time of application.

How to Apply:

- Submit your application via email

- Atlantic Provinces Email:

- Quebec Email:

- Ontario Email:

- Western Canada and Territories Email:

If you are applying for a new agreement, you must submit the following documents:

- EMP 5100 - Application for a Work-Sharing agreement

- EMP 5101 - Attachment A: Work-Sharing unit attachment - signed by each employee (for non-union agreements) or by a union representative

- EMP 5105 - Attachment B: Recovery Plan for special measures

- Sales and/or production figures for the last 2 years

The wages will be determined after establishing the Employment Insurance benefit rate. Please see question 1 for how wages are calculated.