CRA confirms that bonuses generally can be prorated weekly for CEWS claim purposes, and now is getting its CEWS Registry running

The CEWS (wage subsidy) is generally computed on a weekly basis. In a November 23, 2020 revision to its CEWS Q&A webpage, CRA has confirmed that, in the case of a year end bonus “it would generally be reasonable to consider that the annual bonus was earned [evenly] throughout the fiscal period to which it relates” (both regarding the current and comparison period).

More complex allocation issues may apply to commissions. CRA states:

For example, if a car salesperson, who is remunerated by commission when a car is sold as provided in the employment contract, sells two cars in a given week in a claim period, it could be reasonable to consider that those commissions are paid “in respect of the week” in which those two sales occurred.

However, “wages in lieu of termination notice are not considered to have been paid in respect of a week, and therefore are not eligible for the wage subsidy.”

Last, but probably not least, CRA now has its “CEWS Registry” page working somewhat, i.e., particular corporations can be searched but “The ‘View full list of employers’ functionality is temporarily unavailable.” The Registry page states that "To protect the privacy of individuals, only corporations will be disclosed," and employees are told: “If you have reason to believe a CEWS applicant is misusing the subsidy, you can report suspicious activities to the CRA by submitting a lead to the Leads Program.”

Neal Armstrong. Additional summaries of Frequently asked questions - Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS) CRA Webpage 21 December 2020 under s. 125.7(4)(b), 125.7(1) – baseline remuneration, eligible remuneration, s. 125.7(4)(d) and s. 241(3.5).