FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is offering a $3 per hour wage top-up for workers who provide services to vulnerable residents and who earn less than $18 per hour. The top-up took effect on Saturday in conjunction with the province’s move to Level 3 of the COVID-19 winter plan.

“We highly value the important contribution of these workers, particularly since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch. “We are implementing this emergency wage top-up to support them, particularly during this challenging time.”

The Emergency Essential Work Wage Top-Up will be available until March 14 and represents an investment of $8 million. It is estimated that more than 8,000 workers could benefit from the program.

Those eligible for the funding include:

  • home support workers providing direct in-person care to seniors, adults and children;
  • personnel in group homes, community residences, special care homes, homeless shelters and transition houses;
  • domestic violence intervention workers; and
  • food bank and soup kitchen workers.

The program, its criteria and application process, is similar to the initiative put in place during the first months of the pandemic in 2020. The Department of Social Development will work with partner agencies to assist them in implementing the program.

“It is important for our government to express the appreciation we have for staff in these organizations and for the essential work they continue to provide,” said Fitch.