The federal government has announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program in an effort to encourage youth employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government projects that the earmarked $263 million in funding will create up to 70,000 jobs for youth.
The Canada Summer Jobs program is intended to create quality summer work experiences for youth between 15 and 30 years of age by providing wage subsidies to the following employers:
- not-for-profit organizations;
- the public sector; and
- private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees across Canada.
The temporary changes to the program include:
- An increase to the wage subsidy for private and public sector employers, so that they are also eligible to receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee. The 100% minimum wage subsidy was previously only available to not-for-profit employers.
- An extension to the end date of employment from August 28, 2020 to February 28, 2021 to reflect delays to the start date of summer jobs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services.
- Allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis (less than 30 hours per week). Employers were previously required to provide full-time positions (between 30 to 40 hours per week).
Other eligibility requirements, including the required duration of employment (between 6 and 16 weeks), currently remain unchanged.
Job placements under the program can begin as early as May 11, 2020.
The call for Canada Summer Jobs applications for the 2020 season ended on February 28, 2020. However, the government stated that it will work with Members of Parliament to identify organizations providing essential services who could offer youth jobs but did not previously apply for the program. The government also stated that it will work with employers to ensure that work options reflect public health requirements and advice related to COVID-19.
Fasken is committed to helping employers respond to the challenges created by COVID-19. We will work with employers to determine if the Canada Summer Jobs program can be used to subsidize the wages of temporary youth employees required to support essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.