As of June 8th, 2020 the federal government announced plans to introduce legislation penalizing those who have defrauded the CERB benefit. 

According to the proposed bill, there could punishments ranging from fines to jail time for those who made a false or misleading Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) claim.

CERB was introduced in March 2020 to help workers whose employment was negatively impacted by COVID-19. Some of the groups who were eligible for the benefit include workers who were laid off, those experiencing a significant reduction in employment income and those opting to self-isolate due to increased health risks.

While CERB has provided financial support to its intended targeted groups, the federal government is now targeting individuals who are deliberately taking advantage of the system.

With businesses beginning to reopen across the Atlantic Provinces, employers have consistently reported instances of workers refusing to return to work or opting to stay home to take advantage of CERB. With the new proposed legislation, there would be penalties in place for workers who fail to return to work when asked and reasonable to do, as well as for workers who decline a reasonable job offer. Potential penalties range from fines of $5000 plus up to triple the amount of benefit received and/or 6 months jail time.

Given that the federal government is now cracking down on the misuse of emergency financial aid measures, it has never been more important for businesses to plan their human resources requirements as they begin to reopen and ramp up operations. We encourage employees across Atlantic Canada who are asked back to work to begin safely making the transition from CERB to avoid any potential legal repercussions. Furthermore, with many employees starting to look for work at the same time, now is a great time to begin working again before federal benefits expire. In the event you're having difficulty finding work, we’ve got you covered! Integrated Staffing can help you find meaningful employment in a variety of different roles and industries. 

For more information on our job openings or recruitment services, contact the Integrated Staffing branch closest to you.