COVID-19 Special Leave Fund

The COVID-19 Special Leave Fund is a temporary support for workers and self-employed people who are unable to schedule a vaccination appointment outside of work hours, are unable to work due to illness, COVID-19 testing or self-isolation requirements, or to care for their child(ren) who cannot attend their school or regular childcare due to COVID-19 closure and who do not have access to paid sick leave or qualify for an income replacement or insurance program.  

What is being supported through this program?

This program will reimburse employers and/or a self-employed person without a paid sick leave program for sick time of an employee/person who missed scheduled time in a one-week period:
•    To attend a COVID-19 vaccination appointment,

  • Due to illness,
  • Due to COVID-19 testing, 
  • Due to the need to self-isolate, and/or
  • To care for their child(ren) or family member requiring supervised care who cannot attend their school or regular care provider due to COVID-19 closures, sickness or self-isolation.
Program amendment effective May 8, 2022: 

To support workers and self-employed people facing financial challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Innovation PEI is increasing the number of eligible days that can be claimed through this program for scheduled shifts that are missed.  

Employer/self-employed people may claim a maximum of 5 days per week on up to 2 separate one-week periods, to a maximum of 10 days for the loss of wages for scheduled shifts missed.   

The maximum one-week periods, days per week, and total days are cumulative from March 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022.
Applications for one-week periods prior to May 8 will continue to be assessed based on the maximum of 3 days per week to a maximum of 6 days per employee or self-employed person, for wages or lost earnings of less than 50% of their scheduled time in a one-week period.
 
Eligibility dates are  March 1, 2021 to Sept 30, 2022 subject to budget availability..

Who is eligible for funding?  

An eligible employer:

  • Is a for-profit business or not-for-profit organization;
  • Has physical operations located on Prince Edward Island;
  • Is registered to do business in Prince Edward Island; 
  • Is in good standing with the Province’s Central Default Registry; and
  • Is paying PEI-based employees for scheduled time for which the employee does not qualify for sick paid leave under their employment agreement, or qualify for other income replacement or insurance programs, or other provincial programs, and the time was missed due to:
    • a COVID-19 vaccination appointment that could not be scheduled outside of work hours, illness, COVID-19 testing or self-isolation requirements, or 
    • caring for their child(ren) or family member requiring supervised care who cannot attend their school or regular care provider due to COVID-19 closures, sickness or self-isolation.

An eligible self-employed individual:

  • Is actively earning income from the business;
  • Has declared business income on their most recent tax return;
  • Has business income as their primary source of income;
  • Demonstrates direct personal financial losses due to illness, COVID-19 testing or self-isolation requirements or to care for their child(ren) who cannot attend their school or regular childcare due to COVID-19 closures, or because their child is sick or self-isolating; 
  • Is in good standing with the Province’s Central Default Registry; and
  • Is not eligible for or receiving other income support through Business Interruption Insurance, federal COVID-19 or other income replacement programs, other provincial programs, or any other income replacement or insurance program.

Who is NOT eligible for funding?

  • Businesses and/or shareholders/partners listed on the Provincial Central Default Registry;
  • Self-employed individuals with commission-based earnings cannot claim for speculative losses;
  • Self-employed individuals not actively earning income from the business and/or businesses not operating; and
  • Employees/self-employed people who lost more than 50% of their scheduled time in a one-week period due to illness, COVID-19, and/or needing to self-isolate prior to May 7, 2022.

What Level of Assistance is available?

For employers:

  • Maximum of 5 days of wages per week, per employee;
  • Access up to 2 one-week periods per employee for a maximum of 10 days per employee; a period with only a COVID-19 vaccination appointment for an employee will not count toward the 2 one-week periods per employee; 
  • Calculated on eligible wages paid to a maximum reimbursement of $20/hour or $160/day. 
  • Mandatory Employer-Related Costs (MERC's) are eligible (EI, CPP, WCB, etc.); and
  • A calculated 5% Administration Fee.

For self-employed:  

  • Maximum of 5 days of lost earnings per week;
  • Can access a maximum of 2 one-week pay periods for a total maximum of 10 days;
  • Calculated $20/hour to a maximum daily reimbursement of $160/day.

What do I need to apply?

Employer:

  • Business banking information, including a copy of a VOID cheque; 
  • Completed and signed Employee Declaration Form for each employee being claimed; 
  • CRA Payroll Account Number; and
  • Submission of a completed online application.  The application must be completed in full (including the attachment of all stated documents).

Self-employed - Sole Proprietorship or Partnership:

  • Business banking information, including a copy of a VOID cheque; 
  • Most recent Statement of Business or Professional Activities (T2125) found in the personal tax return OR most recent HST form; and
  • A completed online application. The application must be completed in full (including the attachment of required documents).  

Self-employed - Corporation:

  • Business banking information, including a copy of a VOID cheque; 
  • Most recent T4 (salary) or T5 (dividends) from the Corporation showing income from the business; 
  • If you did not receive a salary/wage/dividends, details will be required on how your personal income was affected; and
  • A completed online application.  The application must be completed in full (including the attachment of all required documents).  

How do I apply?

Online applications are recommended; however, a hard-copy application can be mailed or faxed.
Before beginning the application, the employer must download and complete the Employee Declaration Form. 

Download Instructions:

  • Download and save the Employee Declaration Form template to your computer.
  • Open the form and print one copy for each employee being claimed. 
  • Complete the declaration, sign, and have the employee sign. 
  • Scan and save each Employee Declaration Form to your computer.  
  • Upload the declaration where specified in the online application form.    
NOTE:  The Employee Declaration Form is not the application.  An online application must be completed and the required supporting documents attached.
  • The online application must be completed in one sitting. Session can time out.  As such it is recommended to: 
  • Have all requested documents saved on your computer and named before starting the application. 
  • The application upload capacity is 8 GBs.  Cell phone images of requested documents (ex. T4 or Employee Declaration Form) NOT recommended unless resolution is set to small.  
  • Scanned or PDF documents are recommended for successful submission.

When is the deadline for applications? 

Eligibility dates are March 1, 2021, to Sept 30, 2022, and are subject to budget availability.  Applications will be accepted until October 30, 2022.

What are the terms and conditions of the application?

View the full terms and conditions

Is there more help available?

Workers that have their normal weekly earnings reduced by more than 40% may be eligible for Employment Insurance sickness benefits.  Find out more at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/reports/sickness

Up to May 7, 2022, support may be available from these Government of Canada programs:  

Contact Information

Innovation PEI
94 Euston Street, PO Box 910
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 7L9
Telephone: 902-368-6300
Facsimile: 902-368-6301
Toll-free: 1-800-563-3734
Covid-19 Business Concerns: 1-866-222-1751

BEFORE YOU APPLY:

1.    Employee/self-employed person must have lost scheduled time in a due to illness, COVID-19 testing or self-isolation requirements for themselves and/or their child(ren) who cannot attend their school or regular childcare due to COVID-19 closure. 

2.    For Employer applications, the Employee Declaration Form must be complete and have BOTH the Employer and Employee signature.

3.    The use of cell phone images as uploads is not recommended unless the resolution is set to small.  The application capacity is 8 GBs and high-resolution photos will exceed the capacity.  
Innovation PEI

General Inquiries

Innovation PEI
94 Euston Street
PO Box 910
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7L9

Phone: 902-368-6300
Toll-free (North America): 1-800-563-3734
Fax: 902-368-6301

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innovation@gov.pe.ca