On April 25, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it is providing frontline staff with a temporary pandemic payment. The payment compensates frontline workers for dedication, long hours, and increased risk while working to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
What does the payment include?
Eligible workers will receive an 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 hours per month will receive lump sum payments of $250 per month.
Which workplaces are eligible?
Eligible workers include staff in:
- Acute hospitals
- Long-term care homes (including private, municipal and not-for-profit homes)
- Licensed retirement homes
- Home and community care
- Homes supporting people with developmental disabilities
- Intervenor residential sites
- Indigenous healing and wellness facilities/shelters
- Shelters for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking
- Youth justice residential facilities
- Licensed children’s residential sites
- Directly operated residential facility ― Child and Parent Resource Institute
- Emergency shelters
- Supportive housing facilities
- Respite/drop-in centres
- Temporary shelter facilities, such as re-purposed community centres or arenas
- Hotels/motels used for self-isolation and/or shelter overflow
- Adult correctional facilities and youth justice facilities in Ontario
On April 28, 2020, the provincial government clarified that the payment also applies to respiratory therapists, mental health and addictions workers in hospitals and congregate care settings, public health nurses and paramedics.
The payment is designed to apply to frontline employees, and does not apply to management.
How long does the payment last?
The temporary payment begins immediately, and continues from April 24, 2020 until August 13, 2020.
We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Please contact your Baker McKenzie lawyers (above) for more information.
You can also access our Coronavirus Resource Center for information on the impact of this situation on your business and what you can do to manage these risks. It covers areas of immediate concerns such as employer obligations, contract issues, supply chain disruption, financing and force majeure, as well as more forward looking issues such as practical impact on transactions and IPO activity.