‘These workers are vital to our COVID-19 recovery and I thank them for their contributions’
New Brunswick is amending the federally-funded essential worker top-up program to include more workers.
With the change, the program now also covers the province’s private sector home care support workers who provided direct, in-home personal care to clients of the Department of Social Development from March 19 to July 9, and enhanced support workers working in early learning and childcare centres.
“This program sets out to help frontline workers who are providing personal care to our vulnerable population,” said Trevor Holder, minister of post-secondary education, training and labour. “These workers are vital to our COVID-19 recovery and I thank them for their contributions.”
For the home care support workers, the amount of the benefit is dependent on the number of hours provided to the client during the identified timeframe:
- $500 for hours at or above 30 hours a per week
- $250 for hours of at least 20 but less than 30 per week
- $100 for hours of at least 10 but less than 20 per week.
The benefit will be distributed through the client who received the service to the private sector home care or family support worker.
Meanwhile, the enhanced support workers will receive monthly payments over 16 weeks of $500 a month and the first and last payments will be split to align with existing payment schedules.
They will receive their top-up retroactive to May 19 and it will continue for 16 weeks. Employers will be reimbursed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
“It is important to our government to constantly review our policies and procedures for best practices,” said Dorothy Shephard, minister of social development. “We have done that in this case and are pleased to be partnering with our federal colleagues to amend and expand this program. I am confident that the funds will be helpful to many workers who provide essential support to clients of the Department of Social Development.”
The following essential workers have already been eligible to receive wage top-ups through the program:
- early childhood educators in early learning and childcare facilities
- home support workers providing direct in-person care to seniors, adults and children
- direct person care in group homes, community residences, special care homes, homeless shelters and transition houses
- domestic violence intervention workers
- food bank and soup kitchen workers
Ontario and Manitoba have previously announced separate programs in support of frontline workers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.