Back to Work! New Manitoba Job Restart Program

It’s time to ween off the CERB, at least in Manitoba, the implementation of a new program will supplement wages of those returning to the workforce: it’s time to get back to work!

The Manitoba Job Restart Program, announced on Tuesday, June 23, provides an incentive payment of up to $2,000 for workers to give up their CERB or other pandemic benefits. Here are the details:

Although the federal Safe Restart Agreement, which promised $14 billion in transfers to the provinces and territories to restart their economies remains delayed, Manitoba is moving forward with the implementation of a new program to encourage those collecting federal relief benefits to return to the workforce. The Manitoba Job Restart Program (MJRP) will begin accepting applications as of 2pm CST on June 26.

This taxable benefit requires that individuals return to work for a cumulative 30 hours per week during the period of June 26 and July 31. The first payment of $500 will be issued following the application process, and provided reporting is completed bi-weekly as required, three additional bi-weekly payments of $500 for a maximum $2,000 benefit amount will be provided.

Who is eligible? Manitobans who meet the following criteria are eligible for the MJRP:

  • You are receiving benefits from the CERB or CESB at the time of the application (and will stop collecting them)
  • You have been offered employment by an eligible employer with an anticipated start-date no more than 7 days into the future
  • You anticipate working a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • You are legally entitled to work in Canada
  • You have been Manitoba resident since April 1, 2020
  • You have a valid Canadian bank account

In addition, individuals currently employed on a part-time basis and receiving CERB or CESB (making less than $1,000 from employment income per month) are eligible to apply for this program. To qualify, individuals must either increase their number of hours to a minimum of 30 hours per week with their currently eligible employer or find supplemental or full-time employment with an eligible employer providing them with a cumulative minimum of 30 hours of work per week.

What counts as an eligible employer?

An eligible employer is defined as:

  • A business (sole proprietors, partnerships, for-profit corporations)
  • Cooperatives
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Associations
  • Registered charities

An ineligible employer is:

  • Businesses who are owned by the immediate family of the applicant
  • Businesses that conduct multilevel marketing or networking marketing
  • Business and corporate entities that earn passive income and that do not exist for the purpose of carrying on an active business in Manitoba
  • Public institutions are not eligible for the subsidy. This includes municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges and schools, and hospitals.
  • Sole proprietors receiving CERB are not eligible for this program. 

Bi-weekly reporting requirements.

Reporting dates will be provided, and bi-weekly reports must be submitted to receive the 3 additional $500 bi-weekly payments. This requires individuals to attest that:

  • That they continue to be employed with one or more eligible employers for a cumulative minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • That they are not enrolled in CERB or CESB or similar COVID-19 related benefits offered by the federal government.
  • That they continue to follow Manitoba's COVID-19 public health guidelines for the workplace


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