As you may recall, we at Human Resources PolicyPro have been following up on the Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program (CERP) since 2015. Despite the announcement of the program on November 25, 2014, nothing further had been announced by the Department of National Defence (DND) or by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Our last communications with ESDC in September 2016 stated that program roll–out was imminent.
At last, on February 3, 2017, the federal government announced the roll–out of the CERP. CERP provides Canadian employers (including private sector, municipal government and provincial and territorial governments, but excepting the federal government, federal agencies and Crown Corporations) and self–employed reservists with lump sum payments based on the number of weeks of active military duty of reservist employees who have worked a minimum of 30 hours per week for a minimum of 13 consecutive weeks prior to the leave. Reservists must be members of the Primary Reserve or Canadian Rangers. Compensation is payable for eligible deployment of a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 18 months. Eligible missions are Chief of Defence Staff directed domestic or international operations of at least 30 days.
Compensation is available to cover the costs to employers associated with the deployment of employees who are reservists, including:
- “training or hiring replacement workers
- increasing overtime hours for existing employees
- business realignment to mitigate staff reduction reduced revenue”
Compensation is equivalent to 40 percent of the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) ($55,300 for 2017), divided by 52 weeks, multiplied by the number of weeks deployed (that is $425.00 per week in 2017).
Employers must make application for the grant no later than 12 months following the reservist’s return from active military duty (including mandatory post–deployment activities).
Compensation may be paid for deployments prior to the program roll–out on February 3, 2017, as long as the application deadline of 12 months following return to work is met.
We have asked DND to clarify the eligibility and application process for employers who have reservist employees who do not return to employment (for whatever reason) but who have nevertheless incurred costs during an employee’s deployment. We have not yet received the answer; we will pass it on to you as soon as we do.
More information about CERP and links to the Application can be found on the ESDC and DND websites as follows:
- Funding: Grants in support of Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program
- Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program
Look for an updated Military/Reservist Leave of Absence policy in the coming months in Human Resources PolicyPro.