The provincial government is allowing more people to apply for a program designed to help employees working with vulnerable people during COVID-19.

At the start of the pandemic, the province announced a $400 per month wage top-up for workers in seniors' facilities, licensed daycares and shelters.

Originally, the program would only provide the money if workers earned less than $2,500 per month and less than $24 per hour. The government later removed the income threshold for workers at certain facilities.

On Thursday, it removed the threshold for workers at integrated care facilities that provide both short-term and long-term health care.

"Our government wants to ensure that through this program we are helping workers who are caring for some of our most vulnerable," said Finance Minister Donna Harpauer in a news release Thursday.

"Often, family members help support their loved ones in long-term care in these facilities, but visitation restrictions due to public health orders have made that more difficult, putting more pressure on the workers in these integrated health-care facilities."

Workers who can apply for the program now include those in:

  • Personal care homes licensed under The Personal Care Home Act.
  • Special care homes designated under The Provincial Health Authority Act.
  • Approved private service homes defined in The Residential Services Act.
  • Licensed or unlicensed family child-care homes as defined in The Child Care Act.
  • Unlicensed privately operated assisted living facilities, where residents are provided with direct assistance or supervision of daily living activities.
  • Community-based group homes.
  • Licensed child-care facilities.
  • Emergency shelters.
  • Transition shelters — short stay/emergency, transition housing.
  • Integrated health-care facilities.
  • Home-care workers providing care to seniors in their own homes.

The program is for people who were working between March 15 and July 4. It does not include third-party contract service providers working at those facilities.

Applications to the program must be made by Sept. 1.

More information is available at the province's website.