The Manitoba government will be investing $120 million in the province's new Risk Recognition Program to recognize the danger front-line workers faced during COVID-19.
Premier Brian Pallister says Manitoba was the first province to commit to working with the federal government a program such as this, "Our government wanted to hear from Manitobans who they thought was most in most need of this financial assistance, so we consulted the business community, trade and labour unions and essential services to shape the program and determine which positions should be eligible."
In mid-May, the province announced the $120-million Manitoba Risk Recognition Program and formed a working group with 15 unions, business community leaders and critical service providers to submit feedback that informed five proposals and vote on the final program.
"I want to thank these organizations, representing more than Manitoba 17,000 businesses and 110,000 workers, for providing valuable input and reaching a consensus on how best to administer risk recognition payments," said Pallister. "Based on their feedback, we will implement a program to recognize and thank workers who played a key role in our provincial pandemic response efforts and made sacrifices in their professional and personal lives to protect all Manitobans, especially those most vulnerable."
Eligible categories include those in positions like; store shelf stockers, retail salespersons, cashiers, cooks, security guards, light-duty cleaners in retail facilities, early childhood educators, licensed home-based child-care providers, social workers, and those in the health care profession. A full list of those eligible can be found on the link below.
The payment is available to workers employed on a part-time or full-time basis from March 20 until May 29, who either worked a minimum 200 hours or would have worked that amount but were required to self-isolate. An employee's total pre-tax employment income during the eligibility period must be less than $6,250 ($2,500 per month for 2.5 months) and they cannot be enrolled in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
Online applications will be accepted starting Wednesday, June 3, with the application process ending June 18. The province will issue payments via direct deposit once it verifies applications.