Ford government announces “pandemic pay premium” for front-line workers

Employees would receive $3,560 in extra compensation

Thousands of front-line workers in Ontario are going to get a temporary pay hike as a thank you for their dedication and long hours to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Premier Ford referred to it a “pandemic pay premium” during a media briefing on Saturday.

Front-line workers will see their pay increase $4 per hour on top of current hourly wages. As well, employees working over 100 hours per month would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month for each of the next four months. Ford said this means eligible employees working an average of 40 hours per week would receive $3,560 in additional compensation.

“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 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.”

Those eligible for the pandemic payment include 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. Staff providing frontline clinical services, along with those providing support services, such as cleaning and meal preparation, will also be eligible to receive the pandemic payment.

The Ford government said 350,000 workers will be eligible for the pay premium.