The federal government offered more details about its wage subsidy plan earlier this week, but the head of the Canadian Federation for Independent Business (CFIB) says the plan could still fail to prevent layoffs.

As part of the new program, Ottawa will require all applicants to prove a 30-per-cent-decline in revenue, which CFIB President Dan Kelly said could be a barrier for many businesses.

“There are many unique business situations where proving that decline is a barrier to subsidy,” Kelly said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg’s Greg Bonnell Wednesday.

“That 30-per-cent test is going to be a high bar for some.”

Kelly added his staff have been flooded with inquiries about how to demonstrate that drop to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Kelly elaborated in an email that new businesses and seasonal businesses in particular would find it challenging to demonstrate a 30-per-cent revenue drop, and noted businesses record revenue at different times.

He added business owners’ uncertainty over whether they meet the revenue decline requirement may lead them to lay off more workers than necessary.

Kelly said small businesses would be better served if the government abandoned the requirement to prove a 30-per-cent drop in revenue, particularly for companies with fewer than 500 employees and for firms ordered by governments to fully or partially shut down.