March 24, 2020
Canada: Saskatchewan announces new funding and support measures
On 20 March 2020, the Saskatchewan Government announced new funding and supportive measures to reduce costs for businesses and individuals, providing support to self-employed individuals not covered by new federal support measures, and established a Business Response Team designated to support Saskatchewan businesses during this time of uncertainty. The Premier stated that: “During this time of great uncertainty, it is of the utmost importance that Saskatchewan people know their government is here to provide support. This plan supports businesses and employees. Most importantly, it supports the opportunity to come back to work.”
These measures are also in addition to those announced in the Federal Government’s 18 March 2020 Economic Response Plan – see EY Global Tax Alert, Canada announces Economic Response Plan, dated 23 March 2020 for more details on the federal Economic Response Plan.
Changes to Employment Standard Regulations
Recent changes to The Saskatchewan Employment Act released 17 March 2020 introduced a new unpaid public health emergency leave and removed the 13-week employment requirement to access sick leave, as well as the requirement for a doctor’s note to access sick leave. In addition, The Employment Standard Regulations have been amended to:
Self-Isolation Support Program
The Self-Isolation Support Program, which will be administered by the Ministry of Finance, was introduced. This program will provide CA$450 per week, for a maximum of two weeks or CA$900. This program is aimed at Saskatchewan residents who are forced to self-isolate and are not covered by recent federally announced employment insurance programs and other supports. The program will mostly benefit self-employed residents of Saskatchewan who:
In addition, the individual must also satisfy the following criteria:
Business Response Team to be established
The Government of Saskatchewan will be establishing a single-window information webpage for businesses to access information and receive timely updates on provincial support initiatives. This will be complemented by the establishment of a Business Response Team, led by the Ministry of Trade and Export Development, to work with businesses to identify program supports relevant to particular businesses. Once available, more detailed information will be communicated to the public and to local chambers of commerce.
Crown utility interest deferral program
The Government announced a Crown utility interest deferral program, waiving interest on late bill payments for up to six months. Effective as of 20 March 2020, the Crown utility interest deferral program is available to all Crown utility customers.
Student loan repayment moratorium
Effective immediately, a six-month student loan repayment moratorium will apply. This measure mirrors a similar measure announced by the Federal Government on 18 March 2020.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Saskatoon