Ontario Announces Pandemic Pay for Frontline Workers

On April 25th, the provincial government announced an initiative to provide a temporary pandemic pay of $4/hour worked on top of their regular wages for frontline workers fighting COVID-19. In addition, the government will be providing monthly lump sum payments of $250 for four months to eligible frontline workers who work over 100 hours per month. The pandemic pay will be effective for 16 weeks, from April 24, 2020 until August 13, 2020, and is expected to support over 350,000 frontline workers.

The pandemic pay is designed to support employees on the frontlines of COVID-19 and does not apply to management.  Eligible workplaces are identified as is a listing of eligible workers.  This notwithstanding the announcement is vague and unclear as to whether or not "frontline services"  includes a broad list of allied health professionals, including occupational therapists who are not explicitly identified.

View Premier's News Release.

OSOT has communicated with the Premier's office and the office of the Minister of Health to seek clarity about whether the pandemic payment be extended to ALL frontline health care professionals who like nurses are contributing to the health and well-being of those with COVID-19 and those we’re trying to spare.

We position that occupational therapists (and others) not identified in the announcement are integrally involved in the delivery of frontline health care services that are supporting those affected with COVID-19 and those we are trying to support with essential services to stay safe, and that the essential services that occupational therapists are delivering are critical to the province’s efforts to manage Ontarians health and well-being during the pandemic.

To date we have not received clarifying communication but will update this information as soon as we are able.