Ontario Government Announces Pandemic Pay Program

The Government of Ontario just announced a plan to roll out a Pandemic Pay program to frontline staff in retirement communities with a $4.00 per hour worked premium on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employee’s hourly wage. Additionally, it will provide a $250 bonus for frontline staff working over 100 hours per month up to $1000. This program will run for the next 16 weeks.

We want to thank Premier Doug Ford for recognizing our frontline heroes for their dedication and courage during this unprecedented challenge to our sector.

Seasons Retirement Communities made the decision to offer a 20% Thank You bonus on the regular wages of all hourly employees, effective March 23, 2020. We felt this was the right thing to do to ensure our team members felt appreciated for the important work they were doing to keep our residents safe during Seasons’ enhanced precautionary protocols. We advised at the time that we would give employees two weeks’ notice of the conclusion of our Thank You Bonus.

We have studied the impact of both the Seasons Thank You program and the Government of Ontario’s Pandemic Pay program to our staff: It is clear that the government program will offer you greater value. Therefore, effective Friday, April 24, 2020 Seasons will be transitioning all employees to this government program.

However, as a demonstration of our commitment to our staff, Seasons will continue to pay out our Thank You Bonus for the two week notice period as promised, ending May 8, 2020. That means from April 24 to May 8, both the Ontario Government and Seasons bonuses will be applied to staff wages.

We want to thank our team members for their continued dedication to our residents, and to one another, during this challenging time. We have heard from countless residents and their family members about the creative and thoughtful “wow moments” they have been delivering each day. We see the work you are doing, and we are thankful that the Ontario Government is acknowledging your efforts, too.

You are our frontline heroes, Team Seasons. Thank you.

Sincerely,

LeighAnne Voll,
Chief Operating Officer

For additional online resources for COVID-19 you can visit the following sites:

Canada Health
Alberta Health
Alberta Health Services
Public Health Ontario
Retirement Home Regulatory Authority