Many academic staff associations have negotiated letters of understanding to ensure that members do not lose work or income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly important for contract academic staff, who often lack adequate paid sick leave and may be facing job loss or non-renewal. Where the employer is not providing adequate income protection, federal income support measures may provide some relief. Employer-provided and federal benefits may be coordinated to fully protect income.
Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
CERB will apply to all workers, including contract workers and self-employed individuals, who would not otherwise be eligible for EI. To qualify, the applicant must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, maternity, parental, or adoption EI benefits in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to applying for benefits
- CERB combines previously announced measures and provides a simpler and more accessible approach.
- Canadians will begin to see their payments within ten days of application. The benefit will be paid every four weeks and will cover the period of March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
- The portal to access this benefit will be available in early April.
There will be a six-month, interest-free moratorium on payments to the Canada Student Loan Program. Many provinces have also indicated that they will also institute the same six-month moratorium for provincial student loans.