Government Supports for Frontline Workers
Impacted by COVID-19: Provincial Government of Ontario
Ontario Supporting Frontline Heroes of COVID-19 with Pandemic Pay
in recognition of the dedication, long hours and increased risk of working to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario Government is providing frontline staff with a temporary pandemic wage increase of four dollars per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employee’s hourly wage. In addition, employees working over 100 hour per month would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month for each of the next four months. Eligible employees working an average of 40 hours per week would receive $3,560 in additional compensation. Pandemic pay will be effective for 16 weeks, from April 24, 2020 until August 13, 2020. The pandemic pay is designed to support employees on the frontlines of COVID-19 and does not apply to management.
- staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, as well as those providing home and community care and some staff in hospitals
- staff providing frontline clinical services, along with those providing support services, such as cleaning and meal preparation, will be eligible to receive the pandemic payment
- respiratory therapists, paramedics, public health nurses and all addictions and mental health workers who, in a congregate setting, serve the same functions as workers in acute-care hospital settings.
Emergency Child Care to Essential Frontline Staff
The government of Ontario has exempted certain childcare centres from the order to close all licensed childcare centres in order to support essential workers during COVID-19 outbreak. Since its start, almost 130 childcare centres have reopened along with 40 licensed home childcare agencies in communities across the province to support our frontline staff. Strict guidelines for each centre have been established by the province and the local Medical Officer of Health must be consulted and supportive of protocols and actions in place. All sites are also required to have a protocl in place in the event that a child, parent or staff member at the site is exposed to COVID-19.
- Health care and other frontline workers including doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police, and correctional officers;
- Workers in retirement homes, auxiliary workers in health care settings, including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes;
- Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies, pharmaceutical and medical supplies and device manufacturing workers, workers in the food supply chain, including food processing;
- Truck drivers (driver’s license Class A and Class D);
- Staff working in shelters (e.g., serving homeless populations);
- Interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind;
- Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel;
- Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts; Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario; Additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services; Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management fire investigators; Select critical staff in community corrections, such as probation and parole officers; Contractors in institutional corrections services; First Nations constables;
- Staff working in developmental services, victim services, violence against women services, anti-human trafficking services and child welfare services (children’s aid societies) and in children’s residential settings;
- Frontline staff at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit; Critical staff at the Centre of Forensic Sciences; and Critical staff operating the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.
- Power workers and Non-municipal water and waste-water employees; and
- Federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and Canada Post Employees.