COVID-19: Ontario Government Announces Pandemic Premium Pay

Updated May 2, 2020

In a multi-pronged effort to support front-line workers supporting Ontario’s most vulnerable, the Ontario government announced, among other things new pandemic pay premiums for workers, a new single-employer rule to protect workers and people supported in congregated care settings, and a new emergency order extending requirements and authorizations for measures to alleviate, respond to and prevent the outbreak of Covid-19 in certain congregated care settings, including intervenor services.

How much?

$4.00 per hour over regular rates, plus $250 per month for workers working more than 100 hour per month.


Starting April 24, 2020 for 16 weeks, ending August 13, 2020.

For which workers? 

The pandemic pay is designed to support employees on the frontlines of COVID-19 and does not apply to management.

In what sectors?  

A complete list of the eligible workplaces and workers is available here.  Eligible workplaces include:

    • Health care and long-term care facilities (including acute hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, home and community care) and their workers (PSWs, RNs, RPNs, attendant care workers, Developmental Services Workres, Mental Health and Addictions workers, auxillary staff (porters, custodians, housekeeping, laundry and other key workers));
    • Social Services workplaces (homes for people with developmental disabilities; intervenor residential sites; certain shelters; indigenous healing facilities; youth justice, licensed children’s, and directly operated residential facilities; supportive housing; respite/drop-in centres; hotels used for self-isolation and shelter overflow) and their workers (including DSWs, clinical staff, housekeeping, security, administration, maintenance, food services, and nursing staff; and
    • Corrections facilities. 

In addition, the Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU) is reporting that it has negotiated with the government to expand the list to include:

    • paramedics;
    • respiratory therapists;
    • Public Health nurses; and
    • addictions and mental health workers.

No details have yet been released as to how these payments will be rolled out and when – critical questions for employers facing massive unexpected expenses in the face of COVID-19.

Further details will be shared here as soon as they are available.  See the full text of the announcement here.

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.