The province will be providing funds to 78,442 Manitobans as part of the $120-million Risk Recognition Program acknowledging front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Brian Pallister says patience shown by Manitobans through the process was much appreciated, "We want to thank front-line workers and acknowledge the sacrifices they made during the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased risks they faced on the job to provide crucial services."
The Manitoba government will divide the $120 million equally among all eligible recipients for a payment of $1,530. However the payments are considered taxable income, the province has remitted a 10 per cent withholding tax to the Canada Revenue Agency to help recipients when they file their 2020 income tax return. Eligible recipients will be notified via email of a $1,377 direct deposit in their bank account this week.
Eligible positions included health care, social services, justice, security, transportation, food and beverage, hotels and essential retail. Payment recipients include 37,060 public-facing essential roles in retail services and lodging, 27,085 in health care, 9,325 in social services and 3,440 in transportation. The province based eligibility criteria on recommendations it received during extensive consultations with business and union representatives.
"Many working Manitobans were exposed to on-the-job risks they'd never experienced prior to the pandemic and we can't thank them enough for the roles they played in supporting all Manitobans through this difficult time," said Pallister.
The Manitoba Risk Recognition Program was offered to workers employed on a part-time or full-time basis from March 2, the start of the provincial state of emergency, until May 29. Applicants must have either worked a minimum 200 cumulative hours, or would have worked that amount but were required to self-isolate under public health orders. An employee's total pre-tax employment income during the eligibility period must be less than $12,500, excluding overtime wages, and they could not be enrolled in the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit.