Many students in Canada rely on summer jobs to generate income between semesters of high school or post-secondary education. However, students completing their studies this academic year may find it challenging to secure steady employment during the summer months.

Canada Summer Jobs Program

The Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJ) program provides subsidies to employers with less than 50 employees in order to create quality summer work experiences for youth aged 15 to 30 years, and who are legally entitled to work in Canada. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on both CSJ job-seekers and the employers that typically hire them. To curb the pandemic’s impact on both employers and job-seekers, the federal government has implemented measures to assist.

As of now, temporary flexibilities have been introduced and are already in place for employers who are approved for funding during the 2020 summer months (employers wishing to apply for funding for this summer must have done so by February 28, 2020) from the CSJ Program. Employers should further note:

  • Subsidy Amounts: Previously, under the CSJ Program, participating employers in the public and private sector were eligible for reimbursement of only 50% of the minimum wage. However, under current circumstances, all funded employers are eligible to receive 100%.
  • Position Status: Under normal circumstances, all jobs offered by participating employers are required to be full time. In light of COVID-19, the temporary flexibilities now allow for part-time jobs as well.
  • Employment period: Previously, jobs must have been completed by the end of August, but the temporary flexibilities now allow for work to take place between May 11, 2020, and February 28, 2021.
  • Job Activities: This summer, employers are permitted to make changes to project and job activities. For example, offering employees the opportunity to work remotely.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is for post-secondary students, recent post-secondary graduates, and graduating high school students, who are unable to work, or cannot find work due to COVID-19. Moreover, in order to be considered for the CESB, applicants must declare that they are not eligible for the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) or EI benefits during the applicable period. The periods of eligibility fall between May 10, 2020 and August 29, 2020.

Those in the above-mentioned groups wishing to collect the CESB must apply through the Canada Revenue Agency’s website prior to September 30, 2020.

The payment is $1250 per four week period, with the potential for a $750 top-up for those applicants who are disabled or who have a child under 12 years of age, or a dependant older than 12 but who is disabled and completely dependent on the applicant. In order to be eligible, students must be enrolled in or have recently graduated from a post-secondary program, and be actively looking for work in Canada.

We will keep you updated if any new information is released by the federal government.

The author would like to thank Catherine Cliff, articling student, for her assistance in preparing this piece.

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