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To provide additional support for frontline workers fighting COVID-19, the government is providing temporary pandemic pay of $4/hour worked on top of their regular wages. In addition, the government will be providing monthly lump sum payments of $250 for four months to eligible frontline workers who work over 100 hours per month. The pandemic pay will be effective for 16 weeks, from April 24, 2020 until August 13, 2020. Temporary pandemic pay is designed to support eligible full-time, part-time and casual employees. It does not apply to management. To receive pandemic pay, you must work in both an eligible:

  • role (i.e. be an eligible worker)

  • workplace

Eligible workplaces and workers are those listed below, by sector. Learn more about temporary pandemic pay. Health care To be eligible for pandemic pay you must be an eligible worker (full-time, part-time or casual) who works in an eligible workplace providing in-person publicly-funded services. Eligible workplaces

  • All hospitals in the province providing publicly-funded services, including small rural hospitals, post-acute hospitals, children’s hospitals and psychiatric hospitals

  • Home and community care settings, including community-based mental health and addictions

Eligible workers

  • Personal support workers including home support workers, home help workers, community support workers, residential support workers, homemakers

  • Registered nurses

  • Registered practical nurses

  • Nurse practitioners

  • Attendant care workers

  • Auxiliary staff, including:

    • porters

    • cooks, food service, food preparation

    • custodians, cleaning/maintenance and environmental services staff, sterilization and reprocessing staff

    • housekeeping

    • laundry

    • security, screeners

    • stores/supply workers, receivers, department attendants

    • hospital ward and unit clerks

    • client facing reception/administrative workers, schedulers, administrative staff working in home and community care or community-based mental health and addictions

    • community drivers

    • community recreational staff/activity coordinators

  • Developmental services workers

  • Mental health and addictions workers: counsellors/therapists, case workers and case managers, intake/admissions, peer workers, residential support staff, Indigenous/cultural service workers

  • Respiratory therapists in hospitals and in the home and community care sector

  • Paramedics

  • Public health and infection prevention and control nurses

Long-term care Eligible workplaces

  • Long-term care homes (including private, municipal and not-for-profit homes)

Eligible workers

  • All non-management publicly funded employees and workers in eligible workplaces (full-time, part-time and casual)

Retirement homes Eligible workplaces

  • Licensed retirement homes

Eligible workers

  • All non-management employees working on site in licensed retirement homes (full-time, part-time and casual), excluding hours worked to provide extra care services purchased privately

Social services Eligible workplaces

  • 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

Eligible workers

  • 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

Corrections Eligible workplaces

  • Adult correctional facilities and youth justice facilities in Ontario

Eligible workers

  • Correctional officers

  • Youth services officers

  • Nurses

  • Healthcare staff

  • Social workers

  • Food service

  • Maintenance staff

  • Programming personnel

  • Administration personnel

  • Institutional liaison officers

  • Native Institutional Liaison Officers

  • TRILCOR personnel

  • Chaplains

How much you can get

There were two kinds of pandemic pay:

  • a temporary top-up based on your hourly wages

  • monthly lump sum payments

Work performed on and after April 24 until August 13, 2020 is eligible for the hourly pandemic pay and counts towards determining eligibility for the pandemic lump sum payment.

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.

Eligible workers will receive the temporary hourly pandemic pay directly from their employer.

Monthly lump sum payments

If you worked at least 100 hours in a designated 4-week period, you are also eligible to receive an additional lump sum payment of $250 for that period.

The designated 4-week periods were:

  • 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 for work performed over these 16 weeks.

The 100-hour threshold worked out to approximately three days worked per week over a designated four-week period. It also recognized the contributions of both full-time and part-time employees.

Pandemic lump sum payments:

  • are only available to eligible frontline employees who have worked 100 hours or more in one of the designated four-week periods at an eligible workplace

  • are not pro-rated for eligible frontline employees who worked less than 100 hours in one of the designated four-week periods

  • are determined for each four-week period on a stand-alone basis, so you may be eligible to receive a pandemic lump sum payment for one designated four-week period and not for the subsequent one if you worked less than 100 hours

  • are based on all hours worked in a designated week by eligible employees in eligible workplaces, including:

    • overtime

    • cumulative time working for two or more employers

Eligible staff will be paid retroactively for hours worked during this period. Employees should talk to their employer for questions on how lump sum payments are being administered.

Eligible employees who worked in multiple eligible workplaces will receive the pandemic lump sum payment from the employer they worked the most hours for in the designated four-week period. These employees are required to attest to the number of hours worked with each employer, and that they have not submitted a request to receive the lump sum from more than one employer. Employees can contact their employers to confirm what documentation is required for payments to be made.

Employees are eligible for a maximum of one pandemic lump sum payment for each designated four-week period. For example, an employee who worked more than 100 hours in one of the designated four-week periods would still only receive $250.

How to get temporary pandemic pay

If you are an eligible frontline worker, you will receive the temporary hourly pandemic pay directly from your employer.

We are working closely with employers to transfer funding so temporary pandemic pay can be provided to eligible frontline employees.

For employers

Employers were not asked to apply for pandemic pay. Funding agreements will be in place with all eligible employers or service delivery partners.

Who is eligible

Temporary pandemic pay was designed to support eligible employees who worked between April 24 and August 13, 2020.

Pandemic pay does not apply to management employees, including individuals in managerial positions who were redeployed to work in eligible front-line positions. Employers were responsible for determining what positions are managerial in their organization.

Eligibility is not dependent on whether there was a COVID-19 outbreak in the location you worked in.

To receive pandemic pay, you must have worked in both an eligible:

  • role (i.e. be an eligible worker)

  • workplace

In order to receive the pandemic pay, eligible employees in eligible workplaces must have physically attended and worked at their workplace between April 24, 2020 and August 13, 2020. This includes non-management employees temporarily redeployed to perform eligible work in eligible workplaces. Work from home is not eligible.

Eligible employers should reach out to their respective ministry partners to determine eligibility of temporary pandemic pay for workers employed by a third-party agency.


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