COVID-19: New Regulation Outlines “Special Rules” for Provincial Pandemic Pay

On May 29 2020, a new government Order, O-Reg 241-20 Special Rules Re Temporary Pandemic Pay, provided additional details about the province’s pandemic pay. The Order states that only workplaces and workers set out in an online government document, are eligible for pandemic pay. The following Social Services workplaces and workers are still eligible for pandemic pay under the new Order:

  • Workplaces: Homes supporting people with developmental disabilities, Intervenor residential sites, supportive housing facilities, respite and drop-in centres, temporary shelter facilities, such as re-purposed community centres or arenas.
  • Workers: Direct support workers (such as developmental service workers, staff in licensed children’s residential sites, intake and outreach workers), clinical staff, housekeeping staff, security staff, administration personnel, maintenance staff, food service workers, and nursing staff.

Note: Developmental Services Workers in the Health Care Sector home and community cares settings are also eligible to receive pandemic pay.

Important takeaways for DS Sector Agencies:

  • The list of eligible workplaces and workers cannot be expanded by employers, arbitrators, arbitration boards, tribunals or courts (this means that employers can’t negotiate eligibility for provincially funded temporary pandemic pay);
  • Employers can provide pandemic pay despite terms in other legislation, policies, employment contracts or collective agreements (including Bill 124 wage restraint legislation);
  • Employers can implement pandemic pay to unionized employees without an agreement with their union;
  • Complaints alleging breach of the Labour Relations Act cannot be made in relation to the payment (or non-payment) of temporary pandemic pay.

As always, PooranLaw will continue to monitor regulatory developments related to Provincial Pandemic Pay and provide updates here.  In the meantime, if you require legal assistance, we encourage you to reach out to your regular PooranLaw lawyer, or any member of our team.

Note: This article provides general information only and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice or opinion. PooranLaw Professional Corporation holds the copyright to this article and the article and its contents may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of PooranLaw Professional Corporation.