The Manitoba government will recognize thousands of front-line workers who provide direct care and help protect vulnerable Manitobans at personal care homes and other critical settings with the new $35-million Caregiver Wage Support Program, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.
“Every day, thousands of Manitoba workers make our province a better place by showing compassion, care and dedication as they support some of our most vulnerable citizens, such as seniors, people with disabilities, children in care and people at homeless shelters,” said Stefanson. “Their commitment has not wavered, despite the challenges and fears caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Caregiver Wage Support Program, our government is recognizing their ongoing commitment and the value of their critical work.”
The Caregiver Wage Support Program will be available to more than 20,000 Manitobans currently working full-time or part-time on the front lines of the pandemic response. These include health-care aides, housekeeping staff, direct service workers and recreation workers. They provide direct care to vulnerable Manitobans at personal care homes or in disability services, child welfare services, homeless and family violence prevention shelters, or long-term care facilities.
Eligible employees will receive an hourly $5 top-up to their wages, based on the number of hours worked between Nov. 1, 2020, and Jan. 10, 2021. Two intake periods will close on Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 18, 2021. The program benefit will be paid directly to workers by the province in the week after each intake period closes. To qualify, workers must earn a regular wage of $25 per hour or less.
“This program recognizes the efforts of those who are serving on the front lines of our battle with COVID-19,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen. “They have exemplified true professionalism and courage while caring for Manitobans, and doing their best to protect us all from this virus.”
The Manitoba government has partnered with the federal government in cost-sharing the program, which recognizes low-income and middle-income workers who have been integral in supporting the province’s pandemic response. The federal government is providing $17 million, while Manitoba is contributing $18 million.
Additional information on the Caregiver Wage Support Program, including information on how workers can register, is online at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/programs/caregiver-wage-support.html.
The Manitoba government is taking strong action to protect Manitobans and ensure timely access to care. For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/.
(Province of Manitoba News)