BC announces pandemic pay for frontline health and social workers

May 19 2020, 1:47 pm

The provincial government announced on Tuesday that frontline health and social workers would receive a financial boost through COVID-19 pandemic pay.

The temporary initiative is part of a shared program with the federal government and will benefit those working in BC’s healthcare system, social services, and corrections.

Over 250,000 eligible workers are expected to benefit from this program, receiving a “lump-sum payment of about $4 per hour for a 16-week period,” according to the Ministry of Finance.

Any workers that are eligible to receive pandemic pay will receive it directly from their employers not need to apply.

Carole James, BC Minister of Finance, says that the pay “recognizes all that our health and social services workers do to keep people healthy, our communities running, and deliver important care and services.”

“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,” James said in an emailed statement.

“People at the front lines of the pandemic are working tirelessly to keep us and our loved ones healthy, while also delivering services to the most vulnerable in our community.”

The Ontario government announced a similar pandemic pay for frontline care workers at the end of April. Similarly, eligible workers received a $4/per hour increase on top of existing wages, as well as a lump sum for employees who worked over 100 hours per month.

The initiative was later expanded to reach a wider variety of frontline staff.