To encourage employees to go back to work and stop collecting federal COVID-19 benefits, the Manitoba government will pay residents up to $2,000 over a six-week period through the Manitoba Job Restart Program.
The voluntary program doesn’t require any contributions from employers for their employees to qualify. We provide an overview of how this program may impact your employees.
What is the Manitoba Job Restart Program?
The Manitoba Job Restart Program (MJRP) will provide successful applicants with one initial payment of $500 if they plan to return to work with one or more eligible employers for at least 30 hours per week.
To receive the next three payments of $500, up to a total of $2,000, applicants must declare they are still working.
The MJRP is a taxable benefit and participants will be issued a tax slip for the 2020 tax year.
Who is eligible?
Employees are eligible if they meet the following criteria:
- Are receiving benefits from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or other similar federal support
- Have been offered employment by an eligible employer with an anticipated start-date no more than 7 days into the future
- Anticipate to work a minimum of 30 hours per week
- Are legally entitled to work in Canada
- Have been a Manitoba resident since April 1, 2020
- Have a valid Canadian bank account
To remain in the program, approved applicants must:
- Complete bi-weekly reporting surveys certifying they are still working at least 30 hours per week to receive the next three $500 payments
- Voluntarily stop collecting the CERB or CESB or other similar federal support
- Follow Manitoba’s COVID-19 health guidelines in the workplace
- Continue residing permanently in Manitoba and be legally entitled to work in Canada
Note: Participants who do not complete and submit their bi-weekly reporting survey will be de-registered from the program.
What if my employees work part-time?
Individuals currently employed on a part-time basis and receiving the CERB or CESB (making less than $1,000 from employment income per month) are eligible to apply for this program.
To qualify, they must increase their hours with their current employer to 30 hours per week or find supplemental employment with an eligible employer to reach 30 hours per week.
What is an eligible employer?
An eligible employer is defined as:
- A business (sole proprietors, partnerships, for-profit corporations)
- Not-for-profit organizations
- Registered charities
An ineligible employer is:
- Businesses owned by the immediate family of the applicant
- Businesses that conduct multilevel marketing or networking marketing
- Business and corporate entities that earn passive income and that do not exist for the purpose of carrying on an active business in Manitoba
- Public institutions, including municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges and schools, and hospitals
Sole proprietors receiving CERB are not eligible for this program.
If you’re a sole proprietor seeking financial support for your business, consider applying for the Manitoba Gap Protection Plan.
How do my employees apply?
Your employees can apply online. They must have the following information:
- Their social insurance number
- The name of their employer and proposed return-to-work start date
- Canadian bank account information for direct deposit (no cheques will be issued)
The deadline for applications is July 31, 2020. For more information, employees can contact the Manitoba Economic Assistance Office, toll free, at 1-888-805-7554.
If you’d like to learn more about this or other COVID-19 programs for Canadian businesses, please call us at 1-800-265-1002 or email [email protected] Unlimited consultation related to tax matters is a key benefit of FBC Membership. You can also book an appointment.
Visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for the latest information, advice and insights for small business owners.