A paramedic disinfects the handle on the door of an ambulance outside the Hotel-Dieu hospital in Montreal, Sunday, May 3, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

‘Pandemic pay’ to give temporary wage top-up to 250,000 B.C. front-line workers

That equates to a total of $2,240 for someone who worked 35 hours each week for 16 weeks

More than 250,000 eligible front-line workers in B.C. will soon be receiving a “pandemic pay” wage top-up, as part of a shared-cost emergency program for essential sectors.

The amount, which will be doled out as a lump-sum payment through employers will amount to an extra $4 per hour for up to 16 weeks of work, retroactive to March 15.

According to the government, that equates to a total of $2,240 for someone who worked 35 hours each week.

“From care aids to domestic violence workers, to people working in corrections and others delivering essential addictions and mental health supports, our front-line workers are providing vital support to people who are most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Finance Minister Carole James said in a statement Tuesday (May 19).

“Temporary pandemic pay recognizes all that our health and social service workers do to help keep people healthy, our communities running and deliver important care and services to the most vulnerable during this challenging time.”

The wage top-up is part of a cost-shared program announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in early May. The pay is part of the province’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan.

READ MORE: Some essential workers to get wage top-up

Unlike the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers and other federal programs brought in to help curb financial losses from COVID-19, eligible workers will not need to apply for the temporary pay hike and instead receive the payment directly through their employer.

A list of eligible sectors can be found on the B.C. government website.

To receive temporary pandemic pay, an employee must:

  • Have been working straight-time hours at any point during the 16-week period starting on March 15, 2020, at the height of the Province’s response to the pandemic
  • Casual and on-call workers who have worked straight- time hours during this period are also eligible
  • Work in an eligible sector, workplace and role delivering in-person, front-line care in health, social services and corrections
  • Provide additional support and relief to front-line workers by working in ways that directly serve vulnerable populations

In B.C., minimum wage is currently $13.85 per hour, and will be increased to $14.60 on June 1.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Ladysmith adopts 1.92 percent tax increase for 2020

Mayor Aaron Stone said the increase balances lost revenue while maintaining town services

Ladysmith principal mourns family killed during US protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Considerations made to keep Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Long-awaited opening for Chemainus Public Market

All components not up and running just yet, but will be soon

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Fraser Valley dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Gold River ready to welcome visitors and restart local businesses

In contrast to single-industry remote communities, Gold River’s diversified economy might help it better survive after reopening

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

Most Read