To simplify your work during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nethris has centralized useful information for your business regarding our services, government measures and payroll in Canada.
On this page:
- Status of our services
- Federal support for SMEs
- Rehiring or reactivating an employee
- Producing records of employment
- About payroll
STATUS OF OUR SERVICES
Nethris remains open
You can reach our customer service as usual, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, by phone at 1-800-361-5001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our web and mobile platforms remain accessible at all times and we do not foresee any interruptions.
To maintain our essential services while protecting the invaluable health of our members, our teams work safely from home surrounded by their pets and loved ones, and are equipped with all the tools necessary to support you in managing your business without compromising the confidentiality of your data.
However, in these uncertain times our activities may be affected despite the efforts we are putting forth to ensure continued service. We are counting on your comprehension and collaboration.
Intermittent overload of telephone networks
Due to the current global situation the general call volume is higher than normal, thus causing an intermittent overload of the different providers’ telephone networks. Unfortunately, this situation is beyond our control.
When attempting to communicate with us via our toll-free number (1-800-361-5001), if you are greeted by a busy signal or the message “The subscriber you are trying to reach is currently not reachable”, we suggest that you hang up and try again. If your attempts fail, try calling 514-394-9921, our local number.
If possible, favour landline telephones over mobile devices. Note that you can reach us at all times by email at email@example.com.
Have you thought ahead?
To avoid additional hassles during this crisis, here are a few preventive measures:
- Ensure that your access codes are valid.
- Have an authorized backup who can access the Nethris Internet Suite and enter employee payroll information so that the payroll can be processed on time. Ensure that their access codes are valid as well.
- Ensure that your backup is also authorized to communicate with Customer Service if needed. Ensure that this person has the mandatory calling code.
Possible delays for the delivery of payroll documents
As many people are turning to the delivery of goods to avoid in-store purchasing, delivery companies are currently overwhelmed by the high demand, which is causing a slowdown of their operations. Therefore, the delivery of your payroll documents may be delayed during the next few weeks.
Isn’t this the perfect opportunity to opt for our digital services? By viewing your reports on the Nethris Internet Suite, offering your employees access to their pay stubs via Self-service, and paying them using direct deposit, you can avoid frustrating delays. Our digital solutions are more economical, more secure, and more ecological. Contact us for more details.
Preparedness at CGI
Nethris is a registered trademark of CGI Payroll Services Centre Inc. To ensure a coordinated, consistent and proactive response to the threat, CGI has adopted a worldwide approach to communications, incident tracking, reporting and overall crisis management.
Our Pandemic Preparedness Plan, a key element of our Global Business Continuity Program, has been put into action. It uses risk-based protocols to mitigate the impacts on our employee population, address absenteeism, assess threats to service delivery, and manage internal and external communications.
FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR SMEs
We are updating the information in this section as promptly as possible, based on the details that are available to us. Rest assured that we are closely monitoring government announcements daily.
Unveiled by the Government of Canada on March 18, 2020, and enhanced on multiple occasions, Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides financial support to businesses experiencing difficulties during this crisis.
Creation of wage subsidies
With these two emergency wage subsidies, the government wishes to reduce your wage expenses to help you maintain your operations and keep your employees on the payroll despite the loss of income.
The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is the first measure implemented by the government. It grants SMEs 10% of the remuneration paid from March 18, 2020, to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee, for a maximum of $25,000 total. To be eligible, you must have an existing business number and a payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020.
Even if the eligibility period has expired, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is allowing you until the end of the year to claim the subsidy amount to which you are entitled. You are not required to apply for the subsidy; the retroactive amounts you would have been entitled to from March 18 to June 19, 2020, can simply be calculated manually and deducted from your current payroll remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax.
If you are an eligible employer, but you do not reduce your payroll remittances during the year, you can still calculate the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers on remuneration paid from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020. At the end of the year, the CRA will pay the amount to you or transfer it to your next year’s remittance.
We invite you to refer to the Government of Canada website, which contains calculation examples and precisions to make your work easier.
You have trusted us with the management of your source deductions?
You can benefit from the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers via our payroll service, by adding the special deduction D760 to eligible employee files.
What you need to know:
- For the payrolls processed after this deduction is added, we will calculate the subsidy, taking into account the maximum eligible amount (cumulative) per employee (up to $1,375) and per company (up to a total amount of $25,000) for the coverage period.
- Your payroll debit amount will be adjusted to allow you to benefit from the subsidy immediately;
- If the 10% calculated exceeds the calculated tax amount, the residual amount owing will be applied to each subsequent payroll until the subsidy amount is reached;
For more information about this solution, refer to the procedure attached, which is also available in the Documentation section (? > Documentation > COVID-19 Documents) of the Nethris Internet Suite.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is available for private corporations, non-profit organizations and charities of all sizes that experience a significant drop in sales, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. The government is offering these businesses a wage subsidy of 75%, which could represent a benefit of up to $847 per week, per employee.
On May 15th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the CEWS would be extended to the end of August. For Period 4 (from June 7 to July 4), you will need to attest to a reduction in revenue of at least 30% or be eligible to Period 3. The eligibility criteria for Periods 5 (July 5 to August 1) and 6 (August 2 to 29), however, have not yet been specified on the CRA website.
Your eligibility will be verified over three (3) periods. To be reimbursed for the wages paid between March 15 and April 11, 2020 (Period 1), you will need to prove that your SME incurred a reduction in revenue of at least 15% in March. To be reimbursed for the wages paid between April 12 and May 9, 2020 (Period 2), you will need to attest to a reduction in revenue of at least 30% in April or be eligible to Period 1. To be reimbursed for the wages paid between May 10 and June 6, 2020 (Period 3), you will need to confirm a reduction in revenue of at last 30% in May, or be eligible to Period 2.
You can base your reduction in revenue either on your revenues from the previous year, or on an average of the revenues earned in January and February 2020. As long as you keep the same approach for each subsidy request. By offering this flexibility, Ottawa wishes to provide relief To calculate revenues earned, you can use the accrual method or the cash method, but not a combination of both.
Simplify your applications
To allow you to isolate remuneration paid to employees on leave, we have created the earning code “G98 – Hr. COVID N-Work”. You can use it in your next payroll processing so that you can easily determine eligible wages when applying for the subsidy. This earning will be indicated on the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy 75% (SPD620) report. What is the content of this report?
To help you obtain the CEWS amounts you are entitled to in no time, we created the SPD620 report. User-friendly and easy to modify, it allows you to obtain the following data, needed to complete the Excel document in the CEWS calculator:
- The average wages paid per employee, between January 1 and March 15, 2020;
- The calculation of CEWS eligible earnings for each claim period according to the “period end date” method based on clarifications provided by the Government of Canada.
Note that you may have to make a few adjustments to the report to cover the application claim period.
For more details concerning this report, the “SPD620 – COVID-19 Wage Subsidy 75% report and using payroll preprocessing” (for the Nethris Internet Suite users) and “SPD620 – COVID-19 Wage Subsidy 75%” (for Telephone Payroll clients) procedures have been created and are available in the Documentation section (? > Documentation > COVID-19 Documents) of the Nethris Internet Suite.
An updated version of the SPD620 report was released on June 5, 2020. If, prior to this date, you used the former version to request a subsidy, we recommend that you verify the accuracy of the applications previously submitted to the CRA by comparing the amounts claimed with those indicated in the new version, available in the Reports section (Reports > Import data).
If you notice a discrepancy between the amounts, note that it is possible, as of June 1, 2020, to amend a previously submitted CEWS application via the My Business Account Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) portal.
The CRA specifies that any additional amounts you would be entitled to following these adjustments will be paid to you shortly. However, if you were overpaid, it will not be possible to deduct this amount from your future claims. You will be required to return the overpaid amount to the Receiver General for Canada.
Under certain conditions, Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan employer-paid contributions for employees on leave with pay will also be fully reimbursed. In other words, you will obtain a reimbursement for each employee that is paid but not working.
Note: If you have benefitted from the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers via reductions to your source deductions, the reduction amounts must be deducted from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). For further details, refer to point 12 of the CRA’s FAQ.
Need help to understand and take advantage of government support measures?
On May 5, 2020, taxation and accounting experts from Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton demystified the government’s business support measures for our clients. You have the opportunity to take advantage of their valuable advice as well!
For additional explanations, refer to our Frequently Asked Questions document regarding the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), available in the Documentation section (? > Documentation > COVID-19 Documents) of the Nethris Internet Suite.
Extension of the Work-Sharing program
Wishing you could avoid laying off your employees even if there is a shortage of work? You can benefit from the Work-Sharing program. It allows you to reduce the working hours of all your employees in order to share the workload fairly. Your employees must agree to a reduction of their normal working hours, be eligible to receive Employment Insurance benefits and be core employees.
During the crisis, you can benefit from this program for 76 weeks. The Government of Canada has put in place temporary special measures to extend its maximum duration, which is normally set at 38 weeks. See Work-Sharing – Eligibility.
Access to credit
It might be easier for your business to obtain a loan or other financial support from your financial institution. Through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), the federal government is freeing up $95 billion for private lenders to provide liquidity to SMEs. For more details regarding financing measures, we invite you to read our article.
Small and large businesses can defer the payment of income tax until August 31, 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments.
Businesses are also allowed to defer until June 30, 2020, payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports.
The income tax return filing deadline for corporations (T2) or trusts (T3), which is normally in June, July or August, has been extended to September 1, 2020.
For more details, visit the Government of Canada website.
Enhancement of the Canada Summer Jobs program
The Canada Summer Jobs program aims to encourage non-profit organizations in the public and private sectors to create stimulating summer jobs for young people aged 15 to 30 by providing them with wage subsidies. In 2019, the program has led to the creation of nearly 80,000 positions. This program is enhanced this year to better support you. The government has announced three temporary changes:
- Non-profit organizations are eligible to receive funding for up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage. The maximum was previously set to 50% for public and private sector employers.
- Employers are allowed to hire part-time youth and benefit from the subsidy. The subsidy was previously allowed to full-time positions only.
- The end date for employment is extended to February 28, 2021, instead of August 28, 2020.
The government suggests that you contact your funding representative if your project is affected by COVID-19. Rest assured that you would be able to adapt your activities accordingly.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
With the help of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, it is possible to come to an agreement with your commercial property owner to pay only 25% of your rent for the months of April, May, and June 2020.
Your owner must apply on the Government of Canada portal to obtain a rent reimbursement of 50%. For more information, refer to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.
Hotline to provide financial planning advice
In collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa is offering financial planning services by telephone for small business owners in difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Business Resilience Service is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), until the end of June 2020. On the line to help you are members of the Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA) will provide you with customized guidance to retain your employees, keep your costs low, and pay your operating expenses.
Call the following toll-free number: 1-866-989-1080
A platform to find support
Is it difficult for you to determine which government support measure your business is eligible to? The government has created a web platform to make it easier for you. You simply enter certain information specific to your situation (type of business, number of employees, industry sector, province, etc.) and a bulletin board displays the financial solutions and specific resources available to you. Click here to obtain customized support.
REHIRING OR REACTIVATING AN EMPLOYEE
Reminder of procedures
The government wrappelage subsidies and the gradual revival of the economy may prompt you to rehire your workers. Which is why we thought to remind you of the procedures for rehiring or reactivating your employees from our solutions.
To rehire, follow the steps found in the User Help. Do not forget to enter the date.
You can reactivate your inactive employees from their employee file (HR > Employment profile > Employment and compensation). You simply need to modify the “Availability” field by selecting “Active”.
If you are using our Telephone Payroll services, you can make the changes during your next payroll data entry. However, if you have more than modifications, be sure to send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, two business days before your next payroll processing.
Thank you to all entrepreneurs!
Like the Government of Canada, Nethris encourages businesses to keep their employees on the payroll or rehire them if they can afford to do so. An employee represents a significant investment; they must be recruited, welcomed, trained and equipped to contribute to your SME profitability. In our view, your employees are a valuable resource and have the know-how that will allow you to resume operations quickly and effectively after the pandemic.
PRODUCING RECORDS OF EMPLOYMENT
Our video tutorials can help you
Whether you are generating them in paper or electronic format (ROE Web or ROE SAT), our video tutorials will guide you, step by step, to produce your records of employment. They are at your disposal on the Nethris Internet Suite, in the section “? > Documentation > 1.1 Video Tutorials”. You can also access our online User Help.
Follow the instructions from Service Canada
Service Canada has provided clarifications to guide you to produce your employees’ records of employment during this pandemic. They are as follows:
- If your employee is sick or quarantined due to COVID-19, enter in Box 16 – Reason for issuing this ROE: “Code D – Illness or injury”.
- If your employee stops working due to shortage of work or shutdown due to COVID-19, enter in Box 16 – Reason for issuing this ROE: “Code A – Shortage of work”.
- If your employee is not working due to other COVID-19 related reasons, enter in Box 16 – Reason for issuing this ROE: “Code E: Quit” or “Code N: Leave of absence”.
In any case, do not add comments. Comments should be added only when absolutely necessary, as this causes the ROE to be pulled from the automatic processing queue for review by a Service Canada agent, thus slowing down the process. Take note that Service Canada does not recommend amending any ROEs that have already been produced with comments.
Opt for electronic records of employment
To facilitate their transmission, choose electronic records of employment (ROE SAT). By means of this service, your employees will have access to a copy via My Service Canada Account (MSCA) within two business days of their production. You can request this service by sending an email to email@example.com.
Frequently asked questions regarding payroll
To help you deal with this crisis, the Canadian Payroll Association has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions document regarding records of employment, layoffs, and Employment Insurance benefits. Refer to it to obtain a wealth of useful information.
Furthermore, you can submit any questions you may have regarding COVID-19 to the CPA by filling out the form available here. One of the association’s experts will reply as soon as possible. This service is offered free of charge to our clients in an effort to provide you with additional support. Do not hesitate to contact Customer Service for assistance.
Requirement to pay requests
During this crisis, requirement to pay (RTP) requests are suspended. A “requirement to pay” is a legal notice from the Canada Revenu Agency that obligates an employer to deduct unpaid debts from employee wages.
Until further notice, you are therefore asked to stop withholding and remitting current RTP amounts. Incidentally, no new notice will be sent to you.
The information provided on this page is intended as a guideline only with the intention of helping our clients in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It cannot have the effect of changing or modifying the applicable agreement(s) in effect with our clients, nor shall it be construed as a waiver of any rights or remedies therein.
In the event of a discrepancy between the content of this page and the information provided by official agencies, the latter always takes precedence. Nethris is not responsible for errors and omissions that may be on this page nor for consequences resulting from its use.