On April 25, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and President of the Treasury Board Peter Bethlenfalvy announced a new compensation package for frontline health care workers in partnership with the federal government. Earlier in the day Ontario announced amendments to the province’s emergency orders to allow for the formal redeployment of health service provider staff to long-term care (LTC) facilities, as well as a permitting the use of community gardens across the province to strengthen food security.
Premier Ford and Minister Bethlenfalvy were joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott and Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton.
Pandemic Pay – Further supporting Ontario’s frontline health care staff
This compensation package is funded via a partnership between the provincial and federal government. This increase will provide four dollars per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employee’s hourly wage. In addition, employees working over 100 hours per month would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month for each of the next four months. This means that eligible employees working an average of 40 hours per week would receive $3,560 in additional compensation.
Those eligible to receive the payment will be staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, as well as those providing home and community care and some staff in hospitals.
Ontario amending Emergency orders
The Ontario government is introducing new and amending some emergency orders today.
The province can now allow health service providers, including hospitals, to temporarily reassign frontline staff to provide services and supports in long-term care homes. This will help to quickly provide much-needed staffing support to long-term care homes while they continue to fight outbreaks.
Ontario will also now allow the use of allotment gardens and community gardens across the province. Local medical officers of health will provide guidance that the gardens must meet in order to operate, such as physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces.