Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations: SOR/2021-35
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 7
SOR/2021-35 March 15, 2021
CANADA RECOVERY BENEFITS ACT
P.C. 2021-151 March 15, 2021
His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Employment and Social Development, pursuant to subsections 9(2), 16(2) and 23(4) of the Canada Recovery Benefits Act footnote a, makes the annexed Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations.
Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations
Definition of Act
1 In these Regulations, Act means the Canada Recovery Benefits Act.
Canada Recovery Benefit
2 For the purpose of subsection 9(1) of the Act, the maximum number of two-week periods in respect of which a Canada recovery benefit is payable to a person is 19.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
3 For the purpose of subsection 16(1) of the Act, the maximum number of weeks in respect of which a Canada recovery sickness benefit is payable to a person is four.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
4 For the purpose of subsection 23(1) of the Act, the maximum number of weeks in respect of which a Canada recovery caregiving benefit is payable to a person is 38.
Coming into force
5 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the regulations.)
Issues: The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) were introduced on September 27, 2020, to provide income support to Canadians unable to work due to the pandemic. Some recipients who began their claims in September 2020 could begin to exhaust their benefits as early as March 27, 2021, and with the evolution of the pandemic and related labour market restrictions, new regulations are needed to
- (1) increase the number of weeks of benefit entitlement by 12 weeks for the CRB and CRCB;
- (2) increase the number of weeks of benefit entitlement for the CRSB by 2 weeks; and
- (3) make corresponding changes to the leave related to COVID-19 under the Canada Labour Code to ensure that federally regulated private sector employees can avail themselves of the additional weeks of CRCB and CRSB, if necessary due to COVID-19, without fear of losing their jobs.
Description: The Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations increase the maximum number of weeks of benefits entitlement under the CRB and CRCB to 38 weeks; and increase the maximum number of weeks of benefits entitlement under the CRSB to 4 weeks. In addition, the Regulations Amending the Canada Labour Standards Regulations extend the maximum length of leave related to COVID-19 to align with changes to the CRCB and CRSB.
Rationale: The path of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain and continued labour market restrictions warrant changes to the recovery benefits entitlements. In particular, some workers who began their claims when the recovery benefits were introduced in September 2020 could begin to exhaust their benefits as early as March 27, 2021. Increasing the weeks of entitlement for the CRB, the CRCB and the CRSB will provide eligible workers with increased income security until the economic recovery is more firmly entrenched. Also, additional weeks of sickness benefits will allow people to safely isolate when sick rather than risk working and potentially exposing others at work to COVID-19. The corresponding leave changes will provide federally regulated private sector employees access to job-protected leave if needed.
Based on current CRB, CRCB, and CRSB claimant usage data, it is estimated that 1.3 million recipients would directly benefit from the additional weeks of income support, which is estimated to be $6.4 billion. The regulations will also result in additional health and environmental benefits (valued at $543.2 million), as well as indirect benefits associated with the economic stimulus which were not monetized. Incremental costs for these regulations are estimated to be $6.6 billion. These include approximately $6.4 billion for program costs to provide additional income support to CRB, CRCB, and CRSB recipients and $117.6 million (present value) in operating costs for the Canada Revenue Agency and costs to employers associated with lost economic productivity. The net present value of the regulations is $305.4 million.
The path of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain. While vaccination efforts have begun, more job losses and delays in re-employment are possible before the economic recovery gains a stronger hold.
Effective September 27, 2020, the Government of Canada introduced a suite of three new benefits through the Canada Recovery Benefits Act (CRB Act): the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), to provide income support to Canadians unable to work due to COVID-19.
It is expected that many workers currently receiving the CRB and CRCB will begin to exhaust their benefit entitlement by the end of March 2021. As well, many Canadians have already exhausted their entitlement to the CRSB. If the number of weeks available for the recovery benefits is not extended, Canadian workers will find themselves without the income supports needed to bridge them through the coming months, as they await the anticipated positive impacts of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts and economic recovery on the labour market.
A complementary increase to the number of weeks of job-protected leave under the Canada Labour Code (the Code) would also facilitate access to the CRCB and CRSB for employees in the federally regulated private sector who are unable to work for reasons related to sickness or caregiving due to COVID-19. If the length of leave for employees in the sector is not extended, they could run out of job-protected leave for caregiving reasons as early as April 2, 2021.
The COVID-19 acute respiratory disease is a condition in which affected individuals develop fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. Human-to-human transmission is the main driving force of the current COVID-19 pandemic and is exacerbated by a lack of immunity in the general population.
As a result of quarantine, self-isolation and other public health measures that have been put in place across Canada to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Canadians continue to be urged to remain in their homes and many workplaces have closed temporarily or permanently. This has led to many Canadians being unable to work, losing their jobs or having their hours reduced, including in recent months with the evolution of the pandemic.
As part of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the CRB, the CRCB and the CRSB were introduced to help workers unable to work due to COVID-19 and are available for the period beginning on September 27, 2020, and ending on September 25, 2021.
The CRB supports workers ineligible for employment insurance (EI) who, for reasons related to COVID-19, are not employed or self-employed, or had a reduction of at least 50% in their average weekly employment or self-employment income. It provides $500 a week, paid in two-week periods, for up to 26 weeks.
The CRCB provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12, or a family member who requires supervised care because schools, day programs or facilities or care services are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member has contracted or might have contracted COVID-19, or is required to self-isolate, or is at risk of serious health complications because of COVID-19. It provides $500 a week, paid on a weekly basis, up to 26 weeks per household.
The CRSB provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work at least 50% of the week because they contracted or might have contracted COVID-19 or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. It provides $500 a week, paid on a weekly basis, for up to two weeks.
The leave related to COVID-19 under the Code complements the CRCB and CRSB by providing employees in the federally regulated private sector with job-protected leave if they are unable to work due to COVID-19 – related caregiving responsibilities, or because they have contracted COVID-19, are self-isolating, or they are more susceptible to COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions. The leave related to COVID-19 under the Code is scheduled to be repealed on September 25, 2021.
The CRB Act, specifically subsections 9(2), 16(2) and 23(4), allows the Governor in Council to make regulations increasing the number of weeks of the recovery benefits. The Governor in Council may also make regulations amending the length of the leave related to COVID-19 for employees in the federally regulated private sector, using existing authorities found in paragraph 239.01(19)(b) of the Code.
The objectives of these regulations are to ensure that
- (1) workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to have access to income support, if needed, until the economic recovery is more firmly entrenched (Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations); and
- (2) federally regulated private sector employees can avail themselves of the additional weeks of CRCB and CRSB, if necessary, without fear of losing their jobs (Regulations Amending the Canada Labour Standards Regulations).
The Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations increase the maximum number of weeks of benefits by 12 weeks up to a maximum entitlement of 38 weeks of income support for CRB and CRCB recipients, as well as up to a maximum entitlement of 4 weeks of income support for CRSB recipients.
The Regulations Amending the Canada Labour Standards Regulations increase the maximum length of the leave related to COVID-19 under the Code to align with the proposed changes to the CRCB and CRSB.
The new regulations respond directly to the continuing and extraordinary public health situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures need to be in place expeditiously to be effective. Consequently, no prepublication or consultations were undertaken.
The CRB Act provides the authority to modify the number of weeks of benefits through regulations. The Code also provides the authority to modify the length of the leave related to COVID-19 through regulatory amendments. While legislation could achieve the same result, using existing regulatory authorities ensures continuity in income supports for Canadians who would otherwise exhaust their entitlement to the recovery benefits at the end of March 2021.
Through these regulations, the Government of Canada will increase the entitlements for the CRB and the CRCB by 12 weeks for a total of 38 weeks. This will ensure that Canadians continue to have income support at a time when the path of the pandemic remains uncertain and continues to impact many workers' employment and self-employment. The regulations will also provide support while the vaccination rollout begins to take effect, positively impacting Canadian workers and their families until at least when schools close in June. Given the current path of the pandemic, it is unlikely that a shorter extension would be sufficient.
The Government will also increase the CRSB entitlement by two weeks for a total of four weeks. This will benefit workers who cannot work due to underlying conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19, who contracted or might have contracted COVID-19 or need to isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
An assessment of modern treaty implications arising from the measures was conducted in support of the regulations. According to the assessment, the regulations have no impact on modern treaty obligations, and the launch of the Indigenous engagement or consultation process is not required.
Benefits and costs for the new regulations were assessed over a two-year period beginning with fiscal year footnote 1 2021–2022. Estimates are discounted to a 2021–2022 base year using a 7% discount rate. Increasing the number of weeks of entitlement for the recovery benefits would ensure those whose employment is impacted by the pandemic continue to have access to income support, if needed, until economic recovery is more firmly entrenched.
The direct costs of these regulations are estimated to be $6,633.2 million while the monetized direct benefits are estimated to be $6,938.6 million, resulting in a net present value of $305.4 million. This estimate only includes a partial estimation of the benefits that are expected from the improved health outcomes facilitated by these regulations and does not include other indirect benefits that were not monetized. The additional weeks of CRB, CRCB, and CRSB benefits available through these regulations will provide critical income support to Canadians who are unable to work due to COVID-19, and will also support Canadians who may need to take leave from their employment to care for a child or family member due to COVID-19, or who are sick and need to self-isolate if they have been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19.
The full cost-benefit analysis is available upon request.
Under the baseline scenario, the current maximum weeks of entitlement remain unchanged and many Canadians will find themselves without benefits as they begin to exhaust benefit entitlement. As of February 14, 2021, over 1.7 million workers have accessed the CRB; 333 760, the CRCB; and 392 280, the CRSB.
The majority of CRB applicants are continuing to apply every two weeks, without interruption. If current trends persist, around 600 000 workers could begin to exhaust the 26 weeks of benefit entitlements for the CRB as early as March 27, 2021, with a significant additional number exhausting shortly thereafter. The impact of this exhaustion of benefits could be magnified should lockdowns, curfews and other strict public health measures continue to negatively affect employment and self-employment and further delay economic recovery in the coming months.
For the CRCB, the use of the benefit has been increasing on a weekly basis from 150 000 to around 250 000 claimants per week, and around 70 000 CRCB recipients could run out of benefits as early as March 27, 2021. Employees in the federally regulated private sector would begin exhausting their leave for COVID-19 – related caregiving responsibilities on April 2, 2021. The CRCB allows workers to care for a child under 12 years of age who needs to self-isolate or who contracted or might have contracted COVID-19, also reducing the risk of exposure to others. In the absence of additional CRCB entitlement, parents may be more likely to send their child to school when they should be self-isolating, risking exposure to others.
For the CRSB, a spike in the use of the benefit was observed during the first week of the benefit being available to Canadians, where close to 68 000 Canadians applied for the CRSB. Since then, there has been a steady application number, averaging around 22 000 Canadians per week. Close to 225 000 of the 318 110 Canadians who have applied for the CRSB have used the full two weeks of income support available under the CRSB. Under the baseline scenario, Canadians that have exhausted this benefit may be more likely to go to work while sick, risking exposure to others.
Under the regulatory scenario, the maximum CRB and CRCB entitlement is extended to 38 weeks and the maximum CRSB entitlement is extended to 4 weeks. As well, complementary changes are made to the leave related to COVID-19 for employees working in the federally regulated private sector. The regulatory scenario will result in additional program and operating costs for the Government of Canada. There will also be costs to businesses associated with lost productivity such as overtime. The benefits of the regulatory scenario go beyond the direct income support provided to Canadians and are expected to result in additional health, environmental and societal benefits that can be directly or indirectly attributed to the extended benefit entitlement.
The incremental costs of the regulations are estimated to be $6.6 billion. These costs include $6.4 billion for program costs to provide additional income supports to CRB, CRCB, and CRSB recipients, which will be sourced from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), consistent with the CRB Act, as well as $117.6 million (present value) in operating costs for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). As well, businesses are expected to assume $120.2 million in costs related to lost productivity.
Program and operating costs
Additional program payments resulting from the new regulations are expected to be $6.4 billion, all occurring in 2021–2022. Operating costs to the CRA to administer the additional weeks of benefits under the programs are expected to be an additional $117.6 million over 2021–2022 and 2022–2023. These costs are broken down in the following table.
|Program||Program costs (present value)||Operating costs (present value)|
All of the program costs will be funded from the CRF.
Productivity costs associated with benefits and leave related to COVID-19
COVID-19 and the subsequent public health measures have resulted in the temporary closures of many workplaces. The pandemic and the resulting restrictions on the labour market also resulted in a temporary decrease in economic output with many workers required to stay home. During this period, the Government has provided income supports to workers who have been unable to work due to COVID-19. Since these regulations will extend the entitlements to income supports, as well as to job-protected leave for employees in the federally regulated private sector if they are unable to work due to COVID-19, it is expected that a relatively small amount of lost productivity will occur as a result of this. It is assumed that this lost productivity will occur from situations such as workers who are sick with COVID-19 staying home from work and receiving up to four weeks of CRSB rather than going to work because they need income and potentially infecting others, or from workers being able to stay home and care for their children while receiving additional weeks of CRCB when schools are closed rather than having to leave their children home alone, or with grandparents who may be more susceptible to the severe symptoms of COVID-19, while they go to work because they need the income. It is also assumed that there would be a small loss in economic productivity as a result of a small number of CRB recipients decreasing their work search intensities. However, this loss would only occur in instances where employers were unable to fill jobs that would have been filled had the additional weeks of benefits not been provided. It is estimated that the facilitated improved health and other social outcomes from increases to the number of weeks available for income supports under these regulations significantly outweighs the small loss in economic productivity.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) does not have data on the number of people that would attend work were it not for the income support provided through the benefits. If it is assumed that 10% of recipients of the extended benefits would have either found work or attended work if the income supports under the recovery benefits were not available to them, then based on the average wage rate of individuals receiving the benefits, the estimated impact of lost productivity is $110.0 million.
Additional costs to employers in the federally regulated private sector
The corresponding changes to the leave related to COVID-19 under the Canada Labour Code will allow workers in the federally regulated private sector (FRPS) to take additional weeks of caregiving leave. The availability of these additional weeks of leave is expected to result in a small cost to FRPS businesses resulting from other employees having to work overtime to cover the work of employees using the additional weeks of leave. This cost would not occur in every instance of employees using this leave, only occurring in situations when the overtime was used. This cost is estimated to be $10.2 million.
Recovery benefits additional income support
The extension of weeks of the CRB, CRSB, and CRCB will ensure that workers across Canada whose employment continues to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to have access to income support, if needed, until the economic recovery is more firmly entrenched.
Based on available CRB, CRCB, and CRSB claimant usage data, it is estimated that 1.3 million recipients (approximately 930 000 for the CRB, 90 000 for the CRCB, and 273 000 for the CRSB) would directly benefit from the additional weeks of income support provided by the new regulations. Recipients are estimated to receive an additional $6.4 billion in income support, equivalent to the amount of program costs from the new regulations.
The provincial distribution of recipients generally follows the provincial distribution of the overall Canadian population, although recipients in certain provinces, notably Alberta and Ontario, are expected to be slightly overrepresented while recipients in other provinces, notably Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, are expected to be somewhat underrepresented.
The Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations are also expected to have some health benefits, particularly related to helping to facilitate improved health outcomes. Increasing CRSB entitlement from 2 to 4 weeks will benefit workers who cannot work because they contracted or might have contracted COVID-19 or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19, or have an underlying condition, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. Without the additional income support, some of these workers could be more likely to return to their employment and less likely to self-isolate. In addition, increasing the entitlements to the CRCB by 12 weeks will support workers who are unable to work because of their caregiving responsibilities for a child under 12 years of age or a family member whose school, day program or facilities or care services are closed due to COVID-19, or who has contracted or might have contracted COVID-19, or is required to isolate, or is at risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. This will help reduce the rate of community transmission of COVID-19 and, in turn, reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19. The health benefits of these regulations have been partially monetized. A conservative estimate has been made of the reduction in COVID-19 – related deaths resulting from individuals infected with COVID-19 being able to receive income supports while self-isolating rather than having to choose between self-isolating and paying their bills. This lower-bound estimate measures the health benefits from this at $543.1 million.
These regulations are also expected to have minor positive environmental benefits. Due to the extension of the benefits and leave entitlement, some CRSB, CRB and CRCB beneficiaries who would otherwise have gone to work by personal vehicle will remain at home, positively impacting the environment. The value of this benefit is estimated to be about $0.1 million.
Indirect economic benefits
The additional income supports to individuals who, because of the pandemic, are not able to work and would otherwise have no income will provide indirect economic benefits that arise from the spending of these income supports in the economy. This spending will help keep some businesses open that would otherwise have closed, and help keep some individuals employed when they would have otherwise lost their jobs. This in turn helps reduce the demand for these income supports and will likely assist with accelerating the economic recovery coming out of the pandemic. In addition, access to the additional income supports could have indirect societal impacts by reducing the risks of homelessness or childhood poverty. For instance, 760 000 Canadians have deferred their mortgage payments since COVID-19 began. Moreover, according to Statistics Canada, household debt to disposable income ratio has risen to 176.9% footnote 2 from 175.6% the first quarter of 2020. The additional weeks would provide some support to those who need it most.
These indirect benefits are not estimated.
- Number of years: 2 years (2021 – 2022 to 2022 – 2023)
- Base year for costing: 2021 – 2022
- Present value base year: 2021 – 2022
- Discount rate: 7%
|Cost||Implementation costs to Government||$117.6M|
|Program costs to Government||$6,395.4M|
|Lost economic productivity||$110.0M|
|Additional costs to businesses||$10.2M|
|Benefit||Additional income supports||$6,395.4M|
|Health benefits from reduced fatalities||$543.1M|
|Environmental benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions||$0.1M|
Small business lens
As of 2019, small businesses (those with fewer than 100 employees or less than $5 million in revenue) employed 8.4 million individuals in Canada, or 68.8% of the total private labour force, according to Key Small Business Statistics — 2020. These businesses are generally less well equipped to absorb long-term absences of employees as compared to larger businesses and, as a result, could be impacted by the loss of economic productivity due to the pandemic and the related public health measures and restrictions on the labour market. The estimated impact of lost productivity on these small business employers based on these assumptions is $82.7 million.
These regulations do not provide specific flexibility for small businesses. The increase to the number of weeks of entitlements under the recovery benefits will not result in additional administrative burden for small businesses. On the other hand, it could create financial inequity for employees of small businesses, including those in the federally regulated private sector, if they were not able to avail themselves of additional weeks of income support should their employment be affected by COVID-19, which would undermine public health measures.
The one-for-one rule does not apply to these regulations, as there is no incremental administrative costs to businesses.
The increase in additional weeks of benefits and leave does not add any new burden for employers on top of the standard processes currently in place for businesses or employees. Eligible Canadians can submit their application for the recovery benefits via the CRA without requiring documentation from their employers. Applicants who are eligible automatically receive their weeks of income support for which they have applied. CRB recipients continue to be required to seek work during the period, either as an employee or in self-employment. No additional action is required on behalf of the employer.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
Responsibility for the regulation of labour matters is constitutionally divided between the federal and provincial governments. The federal government has exclusive authority to legislate labour standards for the federally regulated private sector (e.g. banking, telecommunications, broadcasting and interprovincial and international transportation), federal Crown corporations, as well as for certain activities on First Nations reserves. This includes about 955 000 employees (or approximately 6% of all Canadian employees) working for 18 500 employers.
Labour standards for other sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, primary industries, and wholesale and retail trade, fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces and territories.
As part of the Safe Restart Agreement, the federal government committed to create and fund a temporary income support program for workers who do not already have access to other paid sick leave, while the provincial and territorial governments committed to establish job-protected sick leave, through regulation or legislation, that allows workers to take up to 10 days of leave related to COVID-19, where not already available. This initiative sought to ensure that workers across Canada had access to the leave and income support they would need to stay home if necessary due to COVID-19.
To date, all jurisdictions except the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have created such COVID-19 – related leaves. These jurisdictions, as well as Quebec and Yukon, may need to make changes to their labour standards legislation or regulations if they wish to align with the extended CRSB and CRCB benefit entitlement.
Strategic environmental assessment
The regulations are expected to result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as some workers who would otherwise have commuted to work by personal conveyance will remain at home during their benefit/leave entitlement. It is estimated that 1 kilotonne of greenhouse gases will be abated by the regulations. The greenhouse gas reductions would occur in 2021 – 2022 only.
Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
The new regulations will assist a broad range of workers who, for various reasons related to COVID-19, are unable to work or had a reduction of at least 50% in their average weekly employment or self-employment income. The regulations do not target persons of a particular gender or identified group; however, some proportional and differential impacts have been identified using preliminary program data, between September 27, 2020, and December 5, 2020.
The administrative data contains information, by benefit type, on the number of recipients by week, the total weeks of benefits received, the 2019 income of recipients, gender, age group, and province of residence; however, the data did not allow for cross tabulations (e.g. gender breakdown by province). In addition, the data does not contain information on industry or type of work, or whether recipients were employed in a sector covered by the Code.
The data shows that 52% of recovery benefits recipients have been men. In addition, most of the beneficiaries of the extension are expected to be lower-income individuals, as 79% of expected recipients of the additional income supports are expected to report as having a gross income or net self-employment income in 2019 of less than $30,000 or having no reported income in 2019.
Canada Recovery Benefit
Beneficiaries of the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) are predominantly men, making up 55% of claimants, whereas males aged 25 to 64 make up 53% of the labour force. The number of beneficiaries of the CRB was relatively evenly distributed among those aged 25 to 64; however, there was an over-representation among low-wage workers, as 80% of all beneficiaries earned less than $30,000 or had no tax filings in 2019. The CRB is available to workers who are not eligible for EI. This includes workers who have not worked enough hours to qualify for EI and workers who do not pay EI premiums, such as self-employed individuals.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) has been distributed fairly equally between men (52%) and women (48%) claimants and among age groups under 54 years old. For the same age groups, men represent 52% of labour force participants and women, 48%. Over half of Canadians report not having access to paid sick leave. That proportion is even higher for low-wage earners. Over 70% of CRSB beneficiaries earned less than $30,000 or had no tax filings in 2019. As well, increasing entitlement to CRSB would benefit low-wage workers to a greater degree than the general population, as it replaces a greater percentage of their income and they are less likely to have private sickness benefits.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) targets caregivers and families with children. CRCB beneficiaries are more likely to be women, with 60.5% of CRCB beneficiaries as of January 2021 being women. As a comparison, men comprise 54% of labour force participants aged 15 and over while women represent 47%. The majority, some 86% of beneficiaries, earned annual income of less than $30,000 or had no tax filings in 2019. Similarly to the CRSB, increasing entitlement to CRCB would benefit low-wage workers to a greater degree than the general population, as it replaces a greater percentage of their income.
In addition, the majority of the CRCB applicants are from Ontario (37%), followed by Quebec (17%). Alberta represents 15% of applicants but makes up 11.7% of the Canadian population, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan combined represent 15% of applicants while comprising just 6.7% of the Canadian population. British Columbia represents 9%. The Atlantic Provinces represent 5% of applications. Only 22% of the CRCB applicants have claimed all available weeks to date.
No data for other identity groups is available at this time.
Leave related to COVID-19
The data required to perform GBA+ on employees in the federally regulated private sector who have taken leave related to COVID-19 is not available, as such leaves are arranged between employers and employees directly, with no government involvement. Despite this lack of data, it is expected that the proposed extension of leave related to COVID-19 would disproportionately benefit women working in the federally regulated private sector. This is because women continue to shoulder a disproportionate percentage of childcare and caregiving responsibilities as compared to men.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
Implementation, compliance and enforcement
The CRA administers the recovery benefits programs. The CRA already has the infrastructure in place, but changes to the recovery benefits processing system are needed to allow for additional weeks of CRB, CRCB and CRSB benefits to be paid.
Existing implementation and enforcement mechanisms contained in the CRA's adjudication and control procedures will ensure that these regulations are implemented properly. These include, for instance, functionality to perform client accounting, withholdings, issuance of tax slips to applicants, support for individual eligibility and entitlement tax assessment activities, and support for post-payment compliance and verification activities.
The Labour Program (ESDC) will prepare interpretation and guidance materials for employees and employers on their new rights and responsibilities related to the extension of leave related to COVID-19, specifically to allow employers time to implement any necessary changes to their workplace policies and procedures. These materials will be available on the Canada.ca website.
The new regulations will come into force upon registration.
CRA provides Canadians with a single point of access to a wide range of government services and benefits, including the processing and payment of the recovery benefits. Existing service standards will continue to apply to the recovery benefits programs.
Anamika Mona Nandy
Employment Insurance Policy
Skills and Employment Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, 7th Floor