Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek announced that the GNWT will extend the wage top-up program for an additional eight weeks to match the federal extension of the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit to October 3rd.

Under this program, businesses are asked to apply for temporary funding to increase the wages of their employees who make less than $18 per hour and who are over 15 years old. Businesses can apply immediately for funding to top up employees’ wages from April to $18/hour.

Wawzonek stated that she is pleased with the uptake for this program, but would like to see even more NWT employers apply to take advantage of this program.

“This extended program is intended to reduce the financial stress of employees who have continued to work since the pandemic began. Employers can apply to receive funding retroactively to the start of the program, and I encourage all of those employers with applicable employees who have not yet taken the steps to apply for this financial boost to do so.”

Businesses will receive $50 per employee from the GNWT to cover the administrative costs of adjusting their employees’ wages for the top-up. The wage top-up is a taxable benefit for employees.

Businesses are asked to provide eligible employee hours and wages in a spreadsheet to the email address NWTwagetopup@gov.nt.ca. Once applications are approved, the GNWT will issue monthly payments to employers to cover the cost of the top-up, for April 1st to October 3rd. Employers can apply to receive funding to top-up employee wages retroactive to the beginning of April.

Employees who work for businesses that do not apply for the program will be provided the wage top up when they submit their pay stubs at the end of the program.