Many employers are aware of some of the more prominent grants and investment tax credits (“ITCs”) available in Canada, such as the Scientific Research and Experimental Develop Tax Credit and the Federal Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit. However, this is just scratching the surface of the lucrative grants and ITCs that may be available to you. One of the lesser known grants that are administered by Service Canada is the Canada Summer Jobs Grant (the “CSJG”), and it also happens to be one of the easier ones to qualify for. Essentially, the CSJG provides funding of 50% to 100% of a provincial or territorial minimum wage per eligible employee. For example, for an eligible employee in Ontario, where the minimum wage is $11.25/hour, the CSJG could provide funding of $5.63/hour to $11.25/hour, depending on the employer’s status (i.e.: not-for-profit organization (“NPO”), private sector or public sector employers). An eligible employer can pay an eligible employee more than their jurisdiction’s minimum wage but any excess would not be eligible for reimbursement under the CSJG.
An eligible employer can receive up to $300,000 in funding per province or territory each year, which is quite substantial.
Application for the CSJG for Summer 2016 closes on February 26, 2016.
Private and public sector employers, as well as NPOs may apply for the CSJG. However, for private sector employers, they must have 50 or fewer employees throughout Canada to be eligible. With respect to public sector employers, the following are not eligible for the CSJG:
- members of the House of Commons and the Senate,
- federal government departments and agencies, and
- provincial and territorial departments and agencies.
In order for an employee to be eligible, the student must:
- be between the ages of 15 and 30 at the start of employment,
- have been registered as a full-time student in the previous academic year with the intention of returning to school in the next academic year,
- be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or to whom refugee protection has been conferred, and
- be legally entitled to work in Canada.
Eligible Employment Activities
For a job to be eligible for funding, it must provide the student with “meaningful work experience”. This requirement precludes personal services provided to the employer (i.e.: child care, gardening, etc.) from eligibility. In addition, a job must:
- have a minimum duration of six (6) weeks, up to sixteen (16) weeks1, and
- be a full-time position with a weekly minimum and maximum of 30 and 40 hours2, respectively.
Service Canada may make exceptions and allow part-time jobs for students with disabilities or who are otherwise unable to work full-time.
Benefits for Employers
The main benefit of the CSJG for employers is the wage subsidy provided by Service Canada. NPOs are eligible for a subsidy up to 100% of the minimum hourly wage in their province or territory. Private and public sector employers are eligible for a subsidy of up to 50% of the applicable minimum wage.
In addition to the wage subsidy, NPOs are eligible, up to a limit of 100% of the hourly minimum wage, for reimbursement of mandatory costs related to eligible employees such as CPP, EI, workers’ compensation premiums, etc. Private and public sector employers are not eligible for reimbursement of these costs.
Furthermore, all eligible employers may be entitled to additional funding of up to $3,000 per student in order to accommodate eligible employees with disabilities within the workspace. Please note, however, that only the cost of tools and adaptations required to complete tasks of the job would be eligible.
Students often complain about how difficult it is to find jobs after completing their academic lives due to a lack of work experience. The CSJG can help you play an important role in developing and helping students reach their long-term goals, while receiving subsidies to do so. We would encourage any employer to contact the accountants at HSS for guidance with respect to the CSJG, as well as for an assessment of their operations in order to ascertain eligibility for other government grants and ITCs.