Temporary pandemic pay is aimed at helping frontline staff who are experiencing severe challenges and are at heightened risk during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It is a targeted program designed to support employees who work in congregate care settings or primarily with vulnerable populations, where maintaining physical distancing is difficult or not possible.
The goals of this temporary pandemic pay are to:
- provide additional support and relief to frontline workers
- encourage staff to continue working and attract prospective employees
- help maintain safe staffing levels and the operation of critical frontline services
How much you can get
There are two kinds of pandemic pay you may be eligible for:
- a temporary top-up based on your hourly wages
- monthly lump sum payments
Pandemic pay on hourly wages
If you are eligible, you will receive $4 per hour worked on top of your existing hourly wages, regardless of how much you already make.
All eligible workers will receive this amount automatically.
Monthly lump sum payments
If you work at least 100 hours in a designated 4-week period, you will also be eligible to receive an additional lump sum payment of $250 for that period.
The designated 4-week periods are:
- April 24, 2020 to May 21, 2020
- May 22, 2020 to June 18, 2020
- June 19, 2020 to July 16, 2020
- July 17, 2020 to August 13, 2020
This means you may receive up to a total of $1,000 in lump sum payments over these 16 weeks.
Eligible staff will also be paid retroactively for hours worked during this period.
How to get paid
If you are an eligible frontline worker, you will receive the temporary hourly pandemic pay directly from your employer.
The government is still working out how lump sum payments will be made.
Employers are not being asked to apply for pandemic pay; eligible employers will be contacted by May 15.
Who is eligible
Temporary pandemic pay is designed to support eligible full- and part-time employees. It does not apply to management.
Eligibility is not dependent on whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the location you work in.
To receive pandemic pay, you must work in both an eligible:
- role (i.e. be an eligible worker)
Eligible workplaces and workers include those listed below, by sector.
To be eligible for pandemic pay you must be an eligible worker who works in an eligible workplace providing publicly-funded services.
- All hospitals in the province, including small rural hospitals, post-acute hospitals, children’s hospitals and psychiatric hospitals
- Home and community care
- Personal support workers
- Registered nurses
- Registered practical nurses
- Nurse practitioners
- Attendant care workers
- Auxiliary staff, including:
- Developmental services workers
- Mental health and addictions workers
- Respiratory therapists in hospitals and in the home and community care sector
- Public health nurses
- Long-term care homes (including private, municipal and not-for-profit homes)
- All non-management publicly funded employees and workers in eligible workplaces (full-time, part-time and casual)
- Licensed retirement homes
- All non-management employees working on site in licensed retirement homes (full-time, part-time and casual)
- Homes supporting people with developmental disabilities
- Intervenor residential sites
- Indigenous healing and wellness facilities and shelters
- Shelters for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking
- Youth justice residential facilities
- Licenced children’s residential sites
- Directly operated residential facility – Child and Parent Resource Institute
- Emergency shelters
- Supportive housing facilities
- Respite and drop-in centres
- Temporary shelter facilities, such as re-purposed community centres or arenas
- Hotels and motels used for self-isolation and/or shelter overflow
- Direct support workers (such as developmental service workers, staff in licenced children’s residential sites, intake and outreach workers)
- Clinical staff
- Housekeeping staff
- Security staff
- Administration personnel
- Maintenance staff
- Food service workers
- Nursing staff
- Adult correctional facilities and youth justice facilities in Ontario
- Correctional officers
- Youth services officers
- Healthcare staff
- Social workers
- Food service
- Maintenance staff
- Programming personnel
- Administration personnel
- Institutional liaison officers
- Native Institutional Liaison Officers
- TRILCOR personnel
Base salaries, benefits and pensions
The temporary hourly pandemic pay and lump sum payments:
- are non-pensionable earnings
- are not part of an employee’s base salary
- have no impact on benefits paid by employers
The temporary pandemic pay and lump sum payments do not impact your eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
Vacation and leaves
The $4 hourly top-up and lump sum payment eligibility only apply to the hours you actually work.
It does not apply to time you were not in the workplace for any reason, including:
- any authorized paid leave, including sick leave
- time and benefits awarded under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997
Some unions will not be collecting union dues on the temporary pandemic pay.
Consult with your workplace bargaining agent to discuss their particular arrangements.
Unless you receive specific direction from your union, you must continue to pay any union dues required by your collective agreement.