Manitoba revamps wage subsidy program to boost recovery

A subsidy of up to $50,000 is open to employers looking to hire more workers

Manitoba revamps wage subsidy program to boost recovery

Manitoba is enhancing its wage subsidy program for a second time as it encourages more businesses to increase headcount in the months ahead.

Employers who are planning to recruit new workers can apply for additional subsidies under the Back to Work initiative of the provincial government. In the expanded program, the government will reimburse up to $5,000 per employee for up to 10 new employees or a maximum payout of $50,000.

Businesses and nonprofit/charity groups that have benefitted from prior wage subsidy schemes or received financial support from other federal or provincial programs can still apply for the additional assistance if they hire more employees as part of their post-COVID 19 recovery strategy.

Read more: Trudeau extends wage subsidy scheme to aid employment rebound

“We are looking ahead to build our economy back even stronger,” Premier Brian Pallister said.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, we knew we had to create opportunities for young Manitobans and we’ve created them,” he said. “We have supported the creation of 8,200 additional positions for young people and now we lead the country – but there is still work to do.”

Earlier, the program only included workers aged 29 and below. Now, the government will reimburse half the wages of workers – hired from now until Oct. 31 – regardless of their age.

More than 300 businesses looking to fill 1,000 vacancies have applied for wage assistance, with funding support amounting to approximately $5m in the past month.

“We are leading the country in putting in place the most generous and most comprehensive job creation programs our province has ever seen and any province has put in place,” Pallister said.

Read more: Manitoba offers $2000 for people to drop out of CERB

But while Manitoba has shown signs of recovery, more than 69,000 residents remain jobless.

Last month, however, Pallister introduced the Manitoba Job Restart Program (MJRP), which pays unemployed Manitobans an incentive of $2,000 for them to return to work and drop out of the federal government’s COVID-19 cash aid. More than 2,500 workers have signed up for MJRP.

The Pallister government will give recipients $500 upon enrolment and three payments of $500 once the worker completes a mandatory progress report every two weeks thereafter, HRD reported.

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