How To Calculate The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

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Cindy LeClair

Ever find yourself wondering How to Calculate the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Amount (CEWS)? Here's a quick guide and tips to assist you with your application.

Step by Step Guide to Calculating Canada's Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Before You Begin the Application

To process your application for Canada's Emergency Wage Subsidy (the return of 75% of your employee remuneration), you will need to apply through your CRA My Business Account. If you do not have an account, you can register for one here:

If you do not have a CRA My Business Account, you can also apply using a Web access code. To retrieve your web access code, please visit CRA's website:

1. To start, please go here: Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS) - Calculate your subsidy amount

2. Once you have arrived at the wage calculations page, you will need to download the Excel document the government has provided to help calculate your wages.

3. On the first tab of the spreadsheet labeled "Instructions and results", enter the period that you are applying for.


4. Next, you will need to collect the following:→ An employee's average weekly gross earnings from January 1st, 2020 to March 15th, 2020.→ Total eligible remuneration paid to those employees during the claim periodIf you have a Push account you can simply run the "Employee Weekly Average Summary Report", and the "Labour Cost and Sales" over the same periods.

5. In the spreadsheet, you will need to enter the employee(s) name in column A, and then determine if the employee is at arm's length (an arm's length employee includes any employee who does not own the business and is not a member of the business owner's immediate family).

6. Next, you will need to enter the employee's average weekly gross earnings from January 1st, 2020 to March 15th, 2020 in column C.

7. After, you will need to enter the earnings of the employee based on the dates that are displayed in row 5. These dates are determined based on the period you entered back in step 3.

8. Here's an example of what your spreadsheet should look like. The amounts in columns H to K are the maximum amounts you can claim for an employee. The maximum amount you can claim for an employee for the period is totaled in column L.

9. If you own multiple businesses and have employees that have earnings across multiple locations, you will need to manually reconcile the maximum subsidy amounts. If the total subsidy amount of the same week for the employee exceeds $847, you will need to manually reduce the subsidy amount to a maximum of $847. Here's an example: As the earnings for Janet Smith in week 1 for Business A and Business B exceed the maximum subsidy amount of $847, the employer will need to put $0 in the subsidy amount for the employee in Business B's wage calculation.

10. Once you have entered all the employee wage information in the spreadsheet, you will then return to this page.

11. When the page loads, scroll down to question #1 and enter the claim period.

12. Next the following amounts that can be found in the Instructions and Results tab of the Excel sheet:

  • the total number of employees
  • the total eligible remuneration [for the period you are applying for]
  • and the total basic CEWS [for the period you are applying for] in 2C.

13. Once you have entered the totals, you will need to deduct or add any premiums you may have applied for.

14. If you have not rehired any employees on leave (ie: all your rehired employees are required to report to work when scheduled), the amount for question 3 will be $0.

15. If you have rehired employees, but do not require them to report to work, you may be eligible for a 100% refund for the employer-paid part of contributions made on behalf of eligible employees. If applicable, you can enter the appropriate amounts in this section. These employer-paid contributions include:

  • Employment Insurance (EI)
  • the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
  • the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), and
  • the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP)

16. Next, enter the amount that you are eligible to claim under the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (enter $0 if not applicable).

17. Next, if you and your employee have enrolled in the Work Sharing benefit program, enter the amount the employee has received here. If you have not enrolled in this program, this amount will also be $0.

18. Once you have entered in the required fields, click "Calculate your total wage subsidy"

19. The calculation will show on the bottom. You will need these line amounts when you complete your online application for CEWS. Print and keep this record.

20. Once you have done so, you can move onto your actual application, through your CRA My Business account. For detailed instructions on how to apply, click here.

For more help understanding the Canada emergency wage subsidy or CEWS check out these helpful links.

Helpful Links

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy application guide

Frequently asked questions - Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS)

Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS) - Calculate your subsidy amount (download the wage calculator here)

Push Operations Frequently Asked Questions


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.

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December 2020


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