Government of New Brunswick


The Employer Wage Incentive component of the Workforce Expansion Program is a collaborative effort to bring our clients, unemployed New Brunswickers, together with employers. The program builds employer/employee relationships which promote the development of our unemployed by gaining skills that ultimately result in long-term sustainable full-time employment. The component also aims at encouraging the hiring of individuals from select groups.


- Must be unemployed.
- Must be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) (with the exception of members of a priority group or a Recent Post-secondary Graduate).
- Must be residing in New Brunswick or be willing to establish residency in New Brunswick.
- Must be legally entitled to work in Canada.
- Must not be an immediate family member of the employer (spouse, child, parent, brother, sister), nor can they be an officer or a director of the organization or a member of their immediate families.
- Priority will be given to Aboriginals, Social Assistance Recipients, Persons with Disabilities, Visible Minorities, Newcomers, Older Workers, and recent Post-secondary Graduates.

- The employer must be a private sector company, non-profit organization or First Nation.
- Employer must be prepared to provide training.

Note: Public sector positions are not eligible for funding.

- Jobs are for a minimum of 30 hours per week. A minimum of 15 hours per week will be considered for recently established small businesses creating a part-time position which will eventually develop into a full-time position.
- Jobs are incremental (with flexibility for Priority Groups).
- Jobs are not paid strictly on a commission basis or piece work basis, or by the kilometer.
- Jobs are not already publicly funded.
- Jobs do not displace permanent employees on layoff, vacation, parental or sick leave.
- Jobs will lead to permanent full time or extended/recurring seasonal positions.
- Jobs within First Nations are eligible except for those which are related to the band's management.
- Jobs cannot start prior to approval.


Employer Wage Incentive utilizes temporary wage reimbursements to help establish permanent employment or annually recurring seasonal jobs.

A wage incentive is available to an employer at a rate and duration that depend on the type of employment that is created and individual employed:

Permanent Employment:
- Unemployed individual who is EI eligible: 50 per cent of the hourly wage to a maximum of $8.00 per hour. Duration is 12-24 weeks, depending on the National Occupation Code (NOC) of the job.
- Unemployed individual from a Priority Group (Aboriginals / Social Assistance Recipients / Persons with a Disability / Visible Minorities / Newcomers / Older Workers): 70 per cent of the hourly wage to a maximum of $8.00 per hour. Duration is 12-24 weeks, depending on the National Occupational Code (NOC) of the job, or 24 weeks for a disabled individual.

Annually Recurring Seasonal Job:
- Unemployed individual who is EI eligible: 50 per cent of the hourly wage to a maximum of $8.00 per hour. Employment must be for a period of at least 14 weeks in duration. Funding is for half the employment period (a minimum of 7 to a maximum of 10 weeks).

Recent Post-secondary Graduates:
If the hourly wage paid by the employer is $14.00 or more per hour see: Wage Incentive – One-Job Pledge in the Related Links section.

Participating employers will pay the employees hired under this program and will subsequently submit wage claim forms to the Department for reimbursement. Employers must not withhold wages while waiting to be reimbursed by the Department.

Employers interested in participating in the Workforce Expansion Program can submit an application (see section ‘Forms’) to the appropriate departmental office.