Ontario’s frontline workers to receive additional $4 per hour in pandemic pay

More than 350,000 health care, social services, and corrections workers to receive temporary wage increase for 16 weeks

Ontario Premier Doug Ford responds to a question during his daily update regarding COVID-19 at Queen's Park in Toronto on April 25, 2020. (Photo: Tijana Martin / The Canadian Press)
Ontario Premier Doug Ford responds to a question during his daily update regarding COVID-19 at Queen's Park in Toronto on April 25, 2020. (Photo: Tijana Martin / The Canadian Press)

The Ontario government is temporarily bumping up the wages of frontline workers by $4 per hour during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Saturday (April 25) with Treasury Board president Peter Bethlenfalvy, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, and Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton.

“These people put themselves in harm’s way to care for our sick and vulnerable citizens,” Ford said. “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.”

VIDEO: Ontario Premier Doug Ford announces pandemic pay – April 25, 2020

The pandemic pay will provide an additional $4 per hour on top of workers’ hourly wages, regardless of how much they are currently being paid. On top of the hourly wage bump, the government will also provide a $250 lump sum payment per month over the next four months for employees who work more than 100 hours per month.

More than 350,000 frontline workers are expected to be eligible for pandemic pay, which will be effective for 16 weeks from April 24th to August 13th.

Those eligible to receive the payment include workers in long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, and workers providing home and community care as well as some workers in hospitals.

Staff providing frontline clinical services, along with those providing support services such as cleaning and meal preparation, will be eligible to receive pandemic pay. The temporary wage increase does not apply to management.

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Eligible workplaces and workers for pandemic pay

Health care and long-term care

Eligible workplaces

  • Acute hospitals
  • Long-term care homes (including private, municipal and not-for-profit homes)
  • Licensed retirement homes
  • Home and community care

Eligible workers

  • Personal support workers
  • Registered nurses
  • Registered practical nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Attendant care workers
  • Auxiliary staff, including porters, cook, custodian, housekeeping, laundry facilities and other key workers.
  • Developmental services workers
  • Mental health and addictions workers

Social services

Eligible workplaces

  • Homes supporting people with developmental disabilities
  • Intervenor residential sites
  • Indigenous healing and wellness facilities/shelters
  • Shelters for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking
  • Youth justice residential facilities
  • Licensed children’s residential sites
  • Directly operated residential facility ? Child and Parent Resource Institute
  • Emergency shelters
  • Supportive housing facilities
  • Respite/drop-in centres
  • Temporary shelter facilities, such as re-purposed community centres or arenas
  • Hotels/motels used for self-isolation and/or shelter overflow

Eligible workers

  • Direct support workers (e.g. developmental service workers, staff in licensed children’s residential sites, in-take/outreach workers)
  • Clinical staff
  • Housekeeping staff
  • Security staff
  • Administration personnel
  • Maintenance staff
  • Food service workers
  • Nursing staff


Eligible workplaces

  • Adult correctional facilities and youth justice facilities in Ontario

Eligible workers

  • Correctional officers
  • Youth services officers
  • Nurses
  • Healthcare staff
  • Social workers
  • Food service
  • Maintenance staff
  • Programming personnel
  • Administration personnel
  • Institutional liaison officers
  • TRILCOR personnel
  • Native inmate liaison officers
  • Chaplains