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Overview:

About 380,000 public and private-sector workers will receive one-time payments of $1,200 for putting themselves at risk on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health-care and social-services workers and education support workers are among the 240,000 public-sector employees who will receive the critical worker benefit. Employees of grocery stores, warehouses, food production, truck drivers and other private-sector workers who earn less than $25 an hour will also be eligible for the bonus pay. The Critical Worker Benefit is a taxable benefit and must be declared on your annual returns.

Employers will have between Feb. 17 and March 19 to apply to the province for the money to pay workers’ bonuses.

Note: employers will receive an amount equivalent to the $1,200 per eligible worker, plus funding to offset their expenses related to EI and CPP contributions.

 

Eligible Occupations in the Private Sector:

To be eligible for the Critical Worker Benefit, private-sector workers must:

  • earn $25 per hour or less,
  • have worked at least 300 hours between the period of October 12, 2020, and January 31, 2021, and
  • be located and working in Alberta.

Retail occupations are eligible to receive the benefit if they meet the criteria:

  • store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers
  • cashiers
  • retail sales supervisors
  • pharmacy assistants
  • material handlers
  • shipper and receivers
  • purchasing and inventory control workers
  • storekeepers and parts persons
  • retail butchers and meat cutters
  • security staff
  • other customer and information services representatives
  • other sales-related occupations
  • cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
  • food counter attendants and kitchen helpers
  • bakers
  • service station attendants

Food manufacturing occupations are eligible to receive the benefit if they meet the  criteria:

  • process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated products processing
  • industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
  • labours in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • material handlers
  • shipper and receivers
  • cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
  • other service support occupations
  • testers and graders, food, beverage and associates

Truck and transport occupations are eligible to receive the benefit if they meet the criteria:

  • transport truck drivers
  • supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit
  • cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
  • security staff
  • receptionists
  • material handlers
  • delivery and courier services drivers
  • other trades helpers and labourers

Warehouse and storage occupations are eligible to receive the benefit if they meet the criteria:

  • shippers and receivers
  • cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
  • storekeepers and parts persons
  • security staff
  • purchasing and inventory control workers
  • other trades helpers and labourers
  • transportation route and crew schedulers

Private health clinic occupations are eligible to receive the benefit if they meet the criteria:

  • medical administration assistants
  • dental assistants
  • other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
  • other assisting occupations in support of health
  • massage therapists
  • orderlies and patient service associates
  • cleaners

Eligible private sector employees working in First Nations communities can receive the benefit.

Those ineligible include food take-out delivery workers, post office workers, bicycle messengers, business owners, contractors, self-employed persons and sole proprietors, municipal and federal governments, political parties, provincial or federal Crown agencies, boards, commissions or corporations, non-profit organizations and those working in liquor stores and hardware stores.

When & How to Apply:

Public Sector:

Eligible public sector workers do not need to apply for the Critical Worker Benefit. The Government of Alberta is working directly with public sector employers to distribute the benefit to eligible workers in the Health Care, Social Services, and Education Sectors.

We are awaiting more information regarding the application process for public sector workers. 

Private Sector:

How to apply:

Important: Private sector employers must apply on behalf of their eligible employees using the application portal. The application portal will launch on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

In order to access the application portal, you must have a MyAlberta Digital ID Business (MADI-B) user account with a secure login name and password.  For this program, you are only required to register for a basic MADI business user account using a valid email. You are not required to register for a Verified Account and do not need to verify your account with a valid driver’s licence or identification card.

Applications must be submitted through the online application portal before application intake closure.

As part of the application, employers are required to submit:

  • employer banking information:
    • financial information including branch, transit and account numbers
    • financial institution address
  • information regarding each worker who may be eligible for payment including:
    • full name
    • date of birth
    • Social Insurance Number
    • occupation title
    • wage (during eligibility period)
    • start date
    • 2 or more pay stubs from the eligibility period

Deadline: Employers have until Friday, March 19, 2021, to apply. If workers believe their employer has not applied for the funds, or has received funds but has not appropriately distributed them, they can contact the minister of labour and immigration’s office.

Additional details are available on the Government of Alberta website here. The full application guide can be found here.

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