With businesses reopening and others continuing to weather the storm, get some helping figuring out which employment program is best for you and your employees using this quick-comparison of:

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
  • Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Program (SUB)
  • Work-Sharing Program (WS)


CEWS A government subsidy that pays 75% of an employee’s wages
SUB Employees are not working and the employer pays to top up their EI payment
WS Employees share the work available and their wages are topped up by EI


CEWS Retain employees whether they are, or are not, working 
SUB Increase the employee's weekly earnings during periods of unemployment
WS Retain qualified and experienced workers

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYERS *under COVID-19 guidelines


  • Individuals (sole proprietor/trusts)
  • Taxable corporations
  • Persons that are exempt from corporate tax (Part I of the Income Tax Act)
     - Non-profit organizations
     - Agricultural organizations  
     - Boards of trade
     - Chambers of commerce
     - Scientific research
     - Labour organizations
     - Fraternal benefit societies
  • Registered charities
  • Partnerships consisting of eligible employers 

  • all employers are eligible

  • Must be a year-round business open more than 1 year 
    - private business
    - publicly held company
    - not-for-profit
    - public corporation, or
  • have at least 2 employees in the WS unit


CEWS Employer has experienced an eligible drop in revenue and had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020
SUB Employee is receiving EI benefits due to temporary stoppage of work, training, injury, illness or quarantine
WS Employee has experienced a reduction in work hours between 10% to 60%


CEWS 10 business days
SUB Within a week
WS 10 business days


CEWS Up to 12 weeks (March 15 - June 6, 2020)
SUB No limit
WS 6 to 76 weeks


CEWS No maximum limit
SUB No maximum limit
WS No maximum limit - Minimum of 2


CEWS Do not need to qualify for EI
SUB Must qualify for EI
WS Must qualify for EI


CEWS 75% - Maximum $847/week (100% available with employer top-up) 
SUB Up to 95% - Maximum $573/week
WS Up to 90% - Maximum $573/week


CEWS Online application via CRA My Business Account, Represent a Client, or Web Forms with a web access code APPLY HERE
SUB Submit a copy of your SUB plan with the SUB Plan Registration form (NAS5036) by mail APPLY HERE
WS Submit two forms via email (EMP5100 and EMP5101) APPLY HERE


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Program (SUB)
Work-Sharing Program (WS)


If you have any Human Resources-related questions or would like to request additional documents or resources, please contact Kate Miller, CPHR by completing the contact form below.

For a complete list of our COVID-19 resources for individuals and businesses, please visit availcpa.com/resources

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