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Pandemic Pay



COVID-19: Temporary pandemic pay

Learn about temporary financial support for eligible frontline and support workers fighting coronavirus (COVID-19).

Find out who's eligible

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How much you can get
How to get temporary pandemic pay
Who is eligible
Base salaries, benefits, pensions and taxes
Vacation and leaves
Union dues


In the first week of June, ministries will start sending details to employers that receive funding directly from government and service delivery managers.

Employers will receive funding for pandemic pay as quickly as possible – starting in early June, though exact timing will vary. Eligible employees will receive pandemic pay through their existing payroll systems, with appropriate accountability requirements in place to ensure that funding is provided to eligible employees.

Eligible employees will receive temporary pandemic pay on hourly wages and those working over 100 hours in a designated four-week period will receive monthly lump sum payments. This pay will be provided retroactively to April 24, 2020.

This page will be updated in the coming days with more specific timelines.

Do you have questions?

Please read this page to get more information.

If you need more information, you can get in touch with someone directly based on where you work:

Health care
Long-term care
Retirement homes
Social services & youth justice
Adult corrections
Housing, including emergency and homeless shelters and municipal supportive housing

For any other questions, or if you are not sure which sector you are in, contact us here.


Temporary pandemic pay is aimed at helping frontline staff who are experiencing severe challenges and are at heightened risk during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is a targeted program designed to support employees who work in congregate care settings or primarily with vulnerable populations, where maintaining physical distancing is difficult or not possible.

The goals of this temporary pandemic pay are to:

provide additional support and relief to frontline workers
encourage staff to continue working and attract prospective employees
help maintain safe staffing levels and the operation of critical frontline services

Find out if you are eligible.

How much you can get

There are two kinds of pandemic pay you may be eligible for:

a temporary top-up based on your hourly wages
monthly lump sum payments

Work performed on and after April 24 until August 13, 2020 will be eligible for the hourly pandemic pay and will count 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.

All eligible workers will receive this amount automatically.

Monthly lump sum payments

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

The designated 4-week periods are:

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 over these 16 weeks.

The 100-hour threshold works out to approximately three days worked per week over a designated four-week period. It also recognizes 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
will not be pro-rated for eligible frontline employees who work less than 100 hours in one of the designated four-week periods
will be 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:

cumulatively time working for two or more employers

Eligible staff will be paid retroactively for hours worked during this period.

Eligible employees who work 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. 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.

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 are not being asked to apply for pandemic pay. As of May 15, we have contacted all eligible employers, service delivery partners or employer associations.

In the first week of June, ministries will start sending funding details to employers that receive funding directly from government, as well as service delivery managers.

Upcoming milestones

Sector Start of rollout of agreements to employers Start of rollout of funding to employers Start of rollout of payments to employees
Health care Week of June 8 Week of June 29 Employer dependent
Long-term care Week of June 8 Week of June 15 Employer dependent
Licensed retirement homes Week of June 15 Week of June 22 Employer dependent
Emergency housing Week of June 8 Week of June 15 Employer dependent
Social services & youth justice Week of June 1 Week of June 8 Employer dependent
Adult corrections June June Employer dependent

Who is eligible

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

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

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

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

role (i.e. be an eligible worker)

In order to receive the pandemic pay, eligible employees in eligible workplaces must physically attend and work 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.

Learn which workplaces and workers are eligible.

Base salaries, benefits, pensions and taxes

The temporary hourly pandemic pay and lump sum payments:

are non-pensionable earnings (with the exception of CPP contributions)
are not part of an employee’s base salary
have no impact on benefits paid by employers
are expected to be subject to statutory withholdings and remittances or employer costs associated with Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI), Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums and Employer Health Tax (EHT) and income tax. The determination of income tax treatment, withholding and remittances, as well as treatment for CPP and EI is within the purview of the Canada Revenue Agency.

The temporary pandemic pay and lump sum payments do not impact your eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Hourly and pandemic lump sum payment will be administered in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the applicable collective agreement(s).

Vacation and leaves

Pandemic pay will not be provided for the time you were not in the workplace for any reason, including:

any authorized paid leave, including sick leave
time and benefits awarded under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

Union dues

Some unions will not be collecting union dues on the temporary pandemic pay.

Consult with your workplace bargaining agent to discuss their particular arrangements.

Unless you receive specific direction from your union, you must continue to pay any union dues required by your collective agreement.

Updated: June 29, 2020
Published: May 6, 2020


Please noteThat Unifor Local 1359 membership voted Not To Take Union Dues From The Pandemic Pay Portion of their pay