Hundreds of thousands of workers who continue to provide critical services to Albertans during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a one-time payment in recognition of their hard work and sacrifice.
The Critical Worker Benefit is a joint federal-provincial program that will see $465 million go to approximately 380,000 Alberta public and private sector workers as $1,200 cash payments. The Critical Worker Benefit will be available to workers in the health-care, social services, education and private sectors who deliver critical services to Albertans or support food and medical supply chains. To be eligible for the benefit, employees must have worked a minimum of 300 hours during the period of Oct. 12, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021.
In the social services sector, approximately 45,000 workers will receive the benefit. Some of the eligible occupations include community disability service workers and practitioners, personal care aides, child development workers, family and youth counsellors, crisis intervention and shelter workers, home support workers, seniors lodge staff, cleaners, food preparation and maintenance workers.
“Alberta’s seniors lodge workers and unique home operator staff have gone above and beyond to maintain a safe environment for their residents. I am extremely appreciative for the hard work, dedication, and effort of the front-line workers who support seniors and ensure they remain safe during the pandemic.” Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing
In addition, eligible private sector workers making $25 per hour or less will qualify for the benefit. These workers include: critical retail workers in grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations; private health provider workers, such as dental assistants, massage therapists and medical administration assistants; food manufacturing and processing workers; truck transportation workers, such as truck drivers and delivery and courier services drivers; and warehouse and storage workers, such as shippers and receivers. Eligible public sector employees do not need to apply to receive the benefit.
Employers will automatically receive the payment through the Government of Alberta to distribute to their eligible employees. Private sector employers can apply on behalf of eligible employees at alberta.ca/criticalworkerbenefit as of Feb. 17. Employers have until March 19 to apply.
Employers will be responsible for distributing the $1,200 Critical Worker Benefit to their eligible employees. For detailed information on eligibility and how to apply, please visit alberta.ca/criticalworkerbenefit.