Muskoka Post Staff
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 payment.
This increase will provide 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 would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month for each of the next four months. This means that eligible employees working an average of 40 hours per week would receive $3,560 in additional compensation. Those eligible to receive the payment will be 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.
"During these dark days, the Ontario spirit continues to shine through with everyday acts of heroism, courage, and compassion by our frontline workers," said Premier Doug Ford. "These people put themselves in harm's way to care for our sick and vulnerable citizens. I am truly grateful, as are the people of Ontario, for their service, and it's time we give something back to those who sacrifice so much day in and day out."
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. The additional compensation is temporary and would begin flowing immediately and continue for 16 weeks.
"It is vital that we retain our frontline health care workers as we continue our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "We are taking further actions to continue to ensure that our healthcare workers are supported, and the health care sector maintains a safe staffing level, especially in places where it is needed the most."
These measures build on steps the government has already taken to support frontline workers, including providing free emergency child care and securing necessary medical equipment and supplies.