People Management
2 min.

CESB: The Key to Attracting Student Workers for the Summer

Mathieu Allaire
Last updated on 6 Dec. 2023
Published on 28 Apr. 2020
Student finishing school and going to his part-time job as a grocery clerk

For many SMEs, the summer season is synonymous with hiring students. During the last few years, several companies have had to get creative to fill these positions, owing to a shortage of workers.

Table of contents

We can all agree that the COVID-19 outbreak was quite the cold shower for our Canadian entrepreneurs, putting the entire country on hold for now more than 6 weeks.

With so many aid programmes becoming available for businesses and workers, a Pierre-Yves Mcsween video  really caught my attention.

In his video, he goes on to explain how companies have to – all while playing by the rules – adapt their approach with regards to wages if they hope to attract students for the summer. His solution? Cap the monthly wages of student hires to 1000$  so that they may then benefit from the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). Which amounts to 1250$ a month for the 2020 May-August period.

Quick Maths

For example, instead of opening a single full-time position, opt to open two minimum wage student positions for 19 hours a week each.

This way, these students will qualify for the CESB, adding 1250$ a month to their regular wage; in some provinces, this amounts to nearly 30$ an hour.

This means that making your students work anywhere between 20 and 44 hours a week on minimum wage would simply end up penalizing them, as they’d lose out on their CESB benefits.

A Win-Win Situation

It won’t take long for your students to reach that same conclusion. Can we really blame them for trying to make the best out of their situation by going along with the government’s plan? You can be both proactive and flexible by creating a win-win situation for employees who are entitled to the CESB. That’s why I suggest that you hire more part-time students than usual for this upcoming summer season.

Lastly, keep an eye out for CESB-related announcements and changes; government programmes have been evolving rapidly throughout the crisis.

I wish you a good recovery!


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