Nearly 400,000 workers in health care, social services, education and private sector to benefit from program
Alberta is giving more than 380,000 workers in the health-care, social services, education and private sectors a one-time payment of $1,200.
The province is investing up to $465 million through its Critical Worker Benefit as recognition for their work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible workers will receive the benefit through their employers.
“These workers are the ones who’ve sustained and maintained Alberta through the first and second waves of the pandemic at very considerable risks to themselves. And they will continue doing that through the months to come as we ramp up vaccine distribution just as soon as we can get the supply,” says Premier Jason Kenney. “Until we can get enough Albertans vaccinated and contain the virus, the risk of exposure and infection will remain real. And so we can and should reward those facing these risks.”
The funding includes up to $118 million in provincial funds and up to $347 million from the federal government’s benefit program for low-wage critical workers.
To be eligible, workers in the public sector must have worked more than at least 300 hours between the period of Oct. 12, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021. Workers in the education sector must also earn $25 per hour or less.
Meanwhile, eligible workers in the private sector include: store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers; cashiers; retail sales supervisors; material handlers; shipper and receivers; cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents; transport truck drivers; supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit; cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents; security staff; and receptionists.
Private sector employers must apply on behalf of their eligible employees using the application portal, set to be launched on Feb. 17. The application period opens on Feb. 17 and closes on March 19, 2021.