More workers at Saskatchewan health-care facilities are now eligible for the province’s temporary wage supplement program.
The program was introduced in April to provide financial support to some workers helping vulnerable citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government said Thursday it now includes include all workers, regardless of income level, at integrated health-care facilities that provide both short-term and long-term health care.
When the program was first announced, it was limited to eligible workers who had a gross monthly salary of less than $2,500 from all sources and earned less than $24 an hour.
The province said that the income threshold has been lifted, as it was when the program was modified in June for workers at licensed personal care homes and special care homes.
“Our government wants to ensure that through this program we are helping workers who are caring for some of our most vulnerable,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said in a statement.
“Often family members help support their loved ones in long-term care in these facilities, but visitation restrictions due to public health orders have made that more difficult, putting more pressure on the workers in these integrated health-care facilities.”
The temporary wage supplement is $400 for each four-week period, up to 16 weeks, for the period from March 15, 2020, to July 4, 2020.
It will be provided to full-time, part-time and casual workers, and includes anyone employed by an eligible facility.
Third-party contract service providers working at those facilities are excluded from the program.
Officials said an application form will be available in the coming days.
Applications will be accepted until Sept. 1.
Eligible facilities include:
- Personal care homes licensed pursuant to The Personal Care Home Act
- Special care homes designated pursuant to The Provincial Health Authority Act
- Approved private service homes defined in The Residential Services Act
- Licensed or unlicensed family child care homes as defined in The Child Care Act
- Unlicensed private assisted living facilities, where residents are provided with direct assistance or supervision of daily living activities
- Community-based group homes
- Licensed child care facilities
- Emergency shelters
- Transition shelters — short stay/emergency, transition housing
- Integrated healthcare facilities; and
- Home care workers providing care to seniors in their own homes.
Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan expands province’s temporary wage supplement program
—With a file from Jonathan Guignard
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