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Manitoba’s back-to-work wage subsidy program extended until end of the year

Manitoba premier Brian Pallister speaks to media after the tabling of his party's provincial budget was filibustered by the opposition NDP at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The province’s back-to-work wage subsidy program will be extended until the end of the year, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced Monday.

“The Back to Work wage subsidy is benefiting hundreds of Manitoba businesses that are bringing back employees who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, and hiring more staff to boost their operations and provide valued services to Manitobans,” said Pallister.

The back-to-work program allows private sector and non-profit businesses receive up to $100,000 to help pay up to 20 employees, to a maximum of $5,000, who have been hired since July 16.

Read more: Manitoba expands back to work subsidy program amid coronavirus

Pallister said the extension will help seasonal businesses as well as year-round local businesses.

There are changes to the program, including that employers can rehire employees previously hired through the Manitoba Summer Jobs program, Canada Summer Jobs program and Green Team Program.

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Also, new startups are now eligible for the subsidy, so long as they have a business number, said Pallister.

More than 800 applications for 4,500 jobs have been received by the program so far, he added.

“Some of the top participating sectors include retail trade (16 per cent), agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (12 per cent), and accommodation and food services (eight per cent),” the province said in a press release.

Recent labour force statistics show about 70 per cent of Manitobans who lost their jobs in March and April have been rehired.

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Coronavirus: Manitoba government boosts back-to-work wage subsidy program – Aug 26, 2020