Manitoba offers $2000 for people to drop out of CERB

'CERB has become a barrier preventing some from returning to work,' Pallister said

Manitoba offers $2000 for people to drop out of CERB

Out-of-work Manitobans relying on government support amid the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible to receive a $2,000 bonus if they opt out of their program and head back to the workforce.

Premier Brian Pallister unveiled the Manitoba Job Restart Program (MJRP) – a cash incentive for laid-off employees to return to work – in an effort to jumpstart Canada’s economic recovery.

Pallister is hoping to get “tens of thousands” of beneficiaries “back to work safely”.

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Manitobans collecting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), or any other lifeline from the federal government, may apply for the Pallister government’s taxable bonus.

But workers will have to voluntarily drop out of CERB or other similar support programs to qualify for the new incentive.

CERB is given to employed or self-employed Canadians whose work or business has been severely affected by the economic slowdown during the pandemic. It provides beneficiaries with $500 a week for a total of 24 weeks.

Pallister believes the emergency response benefit is “actually preventing some Canadians from returning to work on a full-time basis”.

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“The federal government is currently subsidizing the wages of more than eight million workers in Canada through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB),” Pallister said in a statement.

“While these programs have helped Canadians through financial challenges caused by the pandemic, CERB has become a barrier preventing some from returning to work,” he said.

Manitoba, however, aims to incentivize those who want to re-enter the workforce. The provincial government will give beneficiaries $500 upon enrolment and three additional fortnightly payments of $500 once the recipient completes the mandatory survey for each two-week period. Failure to complete the surveys will forfeit the worker’s right to receive the bonus.

MJRP recipients must be employed between 26 June and 31 July for at least 30 hours a week (cumulative) under one or more qualified employers. Eligible workers may apply until 31 July.

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