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Hiring Incentives and Tax Credits in Ontario

Employers looking to hire employees and receive an incentive to do so should connect with the Centre for Career and Employment Services (CCES) to have access to all available funding opportunities. All services for employers offered through the CCES are free of charge.

Employment Ontario Incentives

The following incentives must be applied for through your nearest Employment Ontario office:
Orangeville Employment Ontario
Georgian College Centre for Career and Employment Service
30 Centre Street
Orangeville, ON
519 942 9986
[email protected]

Youth Employment Fund

The Youth Employment Fund is offered through Employment Ontario and exists to provide youth with an entry point to long-term employment through job placements that offer the chance to learn work skills while still earning an income.

Funding is available for employers to hire youth between15 and 29 years of age who are unemployed, not participating in full time training/education, residents of Ontario and actively seeking employment through employment Ontario. Employees must be hired from the candidate pool currently registered with Employment Ontario in order to receive funding.

Employers can receive a hiring incentive to hire these candidates. Funding is decided on after considering the needs of the employer, employee and Employment Ontario. Employers can receive funding for four to six months.

To be eligible you should:

  • be licensed to operate in Ontario
  • be compliant with all regulations
  • be covered by safety insurance
  • provide job placements lasting 4-6 months
  • be filling only new employment positions

Transferable job skills training is also available for employees through this program for suitable employees who require specific skills for the job you are hiring for such as First Aid training and computer skills. The training can occur before or during the job placement but cannot exceed eight weeks.

Summer Jobs Service

The Summer Jobs Service is a program funded in part by the Government of Canada and delivered through the CECS. This program provides up to a $2-per-hour hiring incentive for employers who hire a student during the summer.

Private, not-for-profit or broader public sector employers (including farms and community organizations) offering a summer job in Ontario to students age 15 to 30 who are returning to school in the fall. The incentive subsidizes an employer from April 1 to September 30 at the longest.

Employers must visit an Employment Ontario office to apply for this funding.

Job Placement Incentive

The Job Placement Incentive is offered through Employment Ontario and exists to provide adults aged 30 and above with entry or re-entry into the workplace through job placements that offer the opportunity to learn job skills and earn an income.

Employers must visit an Employment Ontario office to apply for this funding and hire candidates from the pool currently registered with the Centre for Career and Employment Services.

Employers can receive a hiring incentive to hire these candidates. Funding is decided on after considering the needs of the employer, employee and Employment Ontario. Employers can receive funding for four to six months and will be required to provide an invoice to the CCES of the hours worked by the employee over this time period.

Employer Signing Bonus (for apprenticeships)

Employers who hire and register an apprenticeship scholarship candidate in a sector with a high demand for skilled workers may qualify for a $2000 signing bonus. Employers must provide on the job training for at least six months from the date the apprentice was hired. The Employer Signing Bonus must be accessed through the CECS.

Small Business Hiring Incentives

Small Businesses Job Credit

The Small Business Job Credit is a two-year measure that will help small businesses by lowering their Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from the legislated rate in 2015 and 2016. The savings small businesses will realize from this measure will help them create jobs and growth, and support Canada’s sustained economic recovery in a time of ongoing global uncertainty.

You are eligible for this credit if you meet all of the following conditions in 2015 and/or 2016:

  • you deducted EI premiums from the remuneration you paid to your employees, or paid the worker’s share of EI premiums for barbers, hairdressers, fishers, or drivers of taxis and other passenger-carrying vehicles, and you remitted these premiums (along with your businesses’ share of EI premiums) to your payroll program (RP) account;
  • you reported the income and deductions on a T4 slip and filed this information on your RP account for 2015 and/or 2016; and
  • the total of employer EI premiums you paid for all of your RP accounts in 2015 and/or 2016 was $15,000 or less.

You don’t have to apply for the credit. The CRA will automatically establish eligibility for 2015 and 2016 separately, based on the T4 information that you file for each of those years.

If you are eligible, the CRA will automatically calculate the amount of your credit using the EI information from the T4 slips you filed with your 2015 and/or 2016 T4 information returns. There is no application form to complete.

The amount of the credit is calculated using a reduced premium rate for small business for the year in question. For example, if you operate a small business in Ontario and the total employer EI premiums you paid for 2015 and/or 2016 is $15,000 or less, the EI premium rate you will use to calculate what you pay during these years is $1.88 per $100 of insurable earnings. When your T4 information return is processed, the CRA will re-calculate your EI premiums at a reduced small business rate of $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings and it will issue you a refund for the difference, as long as there is no outstanding balance on your account.

If you have more than one payroll program (RP) account under your business number (BN), the CRA will determine if you are eligible to receive a credit by adding the employer EI premiums for all RP accounts under that BN. The amount of credit that each RP account will receive is generally proportional to the amount of the employer’s EI premiums that was paid into each RP account.

No credit will be allowed if we receive your original 2015 T4 return or any amended, cancelled or additional T4 slips for 2015 on or after January 1, 2019. Similarly, no EI premium reduction will be allowed if we receive your original 2016 T4 return or any amended, cancelled or additional T4 slips for 2016 on or after January 1, 2020.

Apprenticeship Tax Credits and Hiring Incentives

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit

Receive a tax credit equal to 10% of an apprentice’s salary (up to $2000) if:

  • The apprentice is in the first two years of an apprenticeship program registered with the government in a trade listed under the Red Seal Trades ([email protected]) and working towards getting a certificate or license in that trade

For information on how to claim the tax credit visit:
Unused credit can be carried back three years or forward 20 years.

Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit

The tax credit is based on salaries and wages paid to an apprentice. Qualifying businesses can claim 25 per cent of eligible expenditures (30 per cent for small businesses) made during the first 36 months of an apprenticeship program that commenced on or after April 24, 2015. The maximum credit for each apprenticeship is $5,000 per year. The maximum credit over the first 36-month period of the apprenticeship is $15,000.

The tax credit is available to businesses that have permanent establishments in Ontario, pay Ontario income tax, and incur eligible expenses in training apprentices in certain skilled trades.

See the list of eligible skilled trades and more information about calculating the credit here.

Hiring Youth

Canada Summer Jobs

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities. Canada Summer Jobs:provides work experiences for students, supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely. Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

Please visit the Canada Summer Jobs website

The priorities for Dufferin-Caledon are:

  • Not-for-profit organizations that provide programs and services for disadvantaged community groups
  • Tourism
  • Hospitals
  • Seniors care
  • Associations of local businesses
  • Community centres
  • Agriculture
  • Small businesses
  • Specialty engineering
  • Environmental protection
  • Development of volunteerism
  • Corporate partnership for community building
  • Local townships and municipalities

Skills Link

Skills Link is a program that provides funding for employers and organizations to offer eligible activities to youth facing barriers to employment. The primary focus of this program is to find employment for these youth.

To participate in Skills Link, youth must be:

    • between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) at the time of intake/selection;
    • out of school;
    • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons who have been granted refugee status in Canada;
    • legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations;
    • not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

Participants must not be in receipt of EI. Priority will be given to non EI-eligible youth (i.e., not entitled to Part 1 or Part II benefits). EI recipients wishing to participate in a Skills Link project should consult an EI agent and voluntarily withdraw from EI.

  • in need of assistance to overcome employment barriers.

Skills Link participants are youth at greater risk of not making a successful transition to the workplace and establishing themselves within the labour market.

Skills Link project activities can be supported individually or in combination, and should form part of the participant’s employment action plan. The following is a list of activities eligible for funding under the Skills Link program:

  • planning and project development activities where stakeholders would collectively review research and evaluation findings, identify gaps and client needs, and determine priorities and goals to achieve a coordinated delivery of employment programs and services;
  • service activities, which include outreach, client assessment, case management (including diagnostic assessment and referral to other community resources and services), career development information and job search and job retention assistance;
  • activities designed to enable youth to gain work experience (including entrepreneurial activities) which would include mentorship, coaching and support in advancing an action plan;
  • activities that help youth facing barriers to employment obtain skills, ranging from basic to advanced skills, through direct assistance to individuals;
  • activities that enable groups of youth to gain employability skills; and
  • Activities that enable groups of youth to acquire or enhance transferable skills, develop personal qualities such as self-esteem, self-reliance, leadership, communication and teamwork, while contributing to their communities.

To apply visit

Co-operative Education Tax Credit

Hire a student enrolled in a post-secondary co-operative education program for a minimum of ten weeks to a maximum of four months.
Eligible businesses may apply for a refund of up to $3 000 per placement.
For information on claiming the credit visit:

Film, Digital Media and Television Tax Credit

Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit

If you are an Ontario film or television producer, you can apply for a refundable tax credit up to 35% of labour costs. To qualify you must:

      • Operate a Canadian-controlled corporation
      • Have a permanent establishment in Ontario
      • File an Ontario corporate tax return
      • Have been an Ontario resident for tax purpose at the end of both of the two calendar years before the start of principal photography.

More information available here:

Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit

If you are involved in digital media production you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 40% of your eligible labour expenditures if:

      • Operate a Canadian corporation
      • Have a permanent establishment in Ontario
      • File a yearly Ontario tax return
      • Earn less than $20 million in annual gross revenue
      • Hold total assets of $10 million or less
      • Create a digital media production in Ontario

For more information please visit: