After much criticism, the United Conservatives announce details of the Critical Worker Benefit Program
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.
Under the health-care sector, approximately 161,000 eligible employees will receive the Critical Worker Benefit. These eligible occupations include orderlies and patient service associates, respiratory therapists and technologists, nurses (RNs, RPNs, LPNs), food services, housekeeping and maintenance workers and unit clerks.
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.
Up to 36,000 workers in the education sector will also be eligible to receive the benefit. This includes teacher assistants, bus drivers, custodians and cleaning staff, and administration support.
In addition, eligible private sector workers making $25 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.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.