UPDATE ON TEMPORARY PANDEMIC PAY TO SUPPORT FRONT-LINE HEALTH CARE WORKERS
HEABC has announced that lump-sum pandemic payments will be considered remuneration for the purposes of the BC Employer Health Tax. This means that payments will be subject to the same payroll deductions as regular pay; they will not have any effect on benefits that employees are eligible to receive.
Update – Timing of Funding
The 16-week eligibility period for the temporary pandemic pay program ended on July 4, 2020. The Ministry of Health is working on a standardized funding process (across all the sectors) and further communication regarding the timing of funding is expected around mid-August. We ask for your patience while the Ministry of Health and employers’ associations communicate requirements for the pay to provincially funded service providers and employers.
On May 7, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that all provinces and territories have confirmed, or are in the process of confirming, plans to cost share wage top-ups for their essential workers. The Government of Canada committed to provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers. Each province or territory is individually responsible for determining eligible workers within the available funding envelope.
On June 1, the provincial government announced details as to how health and social service workers delivering in-person, front-line care to some of B.C.’s most vulnerable people will receive a financial boost through temporary COVID-19 pandemic pay.
More than 250,000 eligible front-line workers will receive temporary pandemic pay, a lump-sum payment of about $4 per hour for a 16-week period, starting on March 15, 2020 and ending July 4, 2020. To be eligible, employees must have worked straight-time hours anytime during the 16-week period starting March 15, 2020. It does not apply to excluded management staff, fee-for-service providers or employees on leave.
Eligible health care workplaces include:
long-term care and assisted-living facilities
provincial mental health facilities
provincially funded home and community care services
public health units
primary care clinics
diagnostic and treatment centres
Eligible workers will receive the payment directly through their employer and do not need to apply. For more information on the temporary pandemic pay program, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/pandemicpay.
If you need to reach PHC’s Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPAC), please call local 69357. Do not contact individual IPAC team members.