British Columbia

250,000 front-line workers get pandemic pay boost in B.C.

Care aides, domestic violence workers and corrections staff are among the health and social service workers who are in line for a temporary pay bump, the B.C. finance ministry said Tuesday.

Eligible health and social service workers will get lump-sum payment equal to about $4 an hour for 16 weeks

The provincial government said over 250,000 front-line workers providing in-person services will receive temporary pandemic pay, including paramedics. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Care aides, domestic violence workers and corrections staff are among the health and social service workers who are in line for a temporary pay bump during the COVID-19 pandemic, the B.C. finance ministry said Tuesday.

In a statement, the ministry said more than 250,000 eligible workers who provide front-line, in-person services in settings like hospitals, jails, long-term and assisted-living facilities would receive temporary pandemic pay.

The pay comes as a lump sum payment worth about $4 per hour for a 16-week week period starting March 15 2020, it said.

The ministry said workers do not need to apply for the extra pay and the payment will be made through their employers.

"Our front-line workers are providing vital support to people who are most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic," Minister of Finance Carole James said in the statement. 

"Temporary pandemic pay recognizes all that our health and social service workers do to help keep people healthy, our communities running and deliver important care and services to the most vulnerable during this challenging time."

According to a backgrounder, eligible employees must have worked straight-time hours during the 16 weeks beginning March 15. Management, fee-for-service providers or employees on leave are ineligible.

A full list of eligible workplaces is available online.

The province said the temporary pay boost is part of its $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan. The cost is being shared with the federal government.

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