Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is delighted with the significant update provided today by the Prime Minister on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program. RCC has been relentless in its advocacy efforts since this program was announced at the end of March as we immediately identified a grave concern on the potential for CERB to dissuade employees for who work is available from coming to work.
Today’s update confirms that there will be flexible rules for claimants who are working reduced hours. This means that retail workers who make less than $1,000 a month, due to reduced work hours, will qualify. As well, the Prime Minister announced that the government will work with provinces to increase pay of essential workers who make less than $2,500 a month. Given that grocery and drug stores are a critical part of our society today and have been called to play an essential role during these extraordinary times, we were pleased to see a specific reference to retail in the supporting documents.
RCC and the retail industry thank the Federal government for its efforts to mobilize people, employers, and employees to win this fight. At some point, we are all going to come out on the other side of this. When we do, our retail members, who represent over 45,000 independent, regional, national retail establishments, will be core to operationalizing that rebound.
Diane Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada
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About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $377 billion in 2018. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org