Briefing Note: Alberta Critical Worker Benefit
PDF version: BN – Alberta Critical Worker Benefit – New West
On Wednesday, February 10, the Government of Alberta announced the Alberta Critical Worker Benefit. It’s a $465 million joint federal/provincial program designed to support 380,000 essential workers through the pandemic. Private-sector employers must apply on behalf of their employees and are then responsible for distributing the benefit to employees. Eligible public sector health workers, such as Alberta Health Services employees, will receive the benefit through their employer.
The breakdown of benefit recipient is:
- Up to $195 million in the health-care sector supporting more than 161,000 workers.
- Up to $55 million toward the social services sector supporting more than 45,000 workers.
- Up to $45 million toward the education sector supporting more than 36,000 workers.
- Up to $170 million toward the private sector supporting more than 140,000 workers.
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.
Eligible private sector workers making $25 per hour 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.
A larger list of those eligible is available at the bottom of this note, though more details on eligibility will be announced on February 17 – the date that applications open.
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.