As Alberta’s economy recovers, small and medium-sized businesses are focused on reopening and rehiring staff. Many of these businesses also provided services to Albertans in the midst of the pandemic and have employees who are eligible for the Critical Worker Benefit.
In order to make sure these businesses can focus on reopening while ensuring their employees can get the Critical Worker Benefit, the deadline for private sector employers to submit applications has been extended to August 31.
Additional private sector workers eligible for the benefit since June 22 include truck drivers, farm workers, security guards, cleaners, funeral workers, employees at quick service and dine in restaurants, and taxi and limousine drivers.
“We want to thank as many workers as possible for the risks they took to provide services to Albertans and keep our economy running during the pandemic. In order to make sure workers receive their benefit and small and medium businesses have the time needed to fill out the applications, we are extending the deadline.”
Private sector employers can apply on behalf of employees at alberta.ca/critical-worker-benefit.aspx. Applications will be assessed in the order they are received.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses, and protect Alberta’s health care system.
- Through the Critical Worker Benefit, the Government of Alberta is distributing up to $465 million in funding to eligible workers.
- In order to be eligible for the benefit, workers must have:
- Worked for an eligible employer
- Earned a gross hourly wage of $25 an hour or less
- Worked at least 300 hours between October 12, 2020 and January 31, 2021.
Backgrounder: eligible sectors and occupations
- workers in truck transportation, primarily engaged in the transportation of goods, in the following occupations:
- transport truck drivers
- light-duty cleaners
- janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
- security guards and related security services
- material handlers
- delivery and courier services drivers
- other trades helpers and labourers
- workers in crop production, animal production or aquaculture
- Workers must be directly involved in the production of food for human consumption. This includes farms, orchards, groves, greenhouses and nurseries that are growing crops, as well as ranches, feedlots and farms that are producing animal products, including aquaculture.
- Workers in funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria
- NOT ELIGIBLE – municipally-run funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria.
- Workers in full-service restaurants and limited services eating places
- NOT ELIGIBLE – drinking places that do not serve food on-site.
- Full service and limited service eating places are establishments that are accessible by the general public.
- These establishments are primarily engaged in providing food services to patrons who order and are served while seated and pay after eating, or who order or select items curbside, drive-through, at a counter or cafeteria line (or by telephone) and pay before eating.
- Workers must be primarily involved in the preparation, cooking or service delivery in an eligible establishment.
- Workers that are security guards
- NOT ELIGIBLE – private investigators, armoured car guards, house detectives, personal bodyguards and security.
- Workers that are light-duty cleaners, janitors and specialized cleaners for commercial, institution and industrial locations
- NOT ELIGIBLE – private residence cleaners.
- Workers that are taxi and limousine drivers
- taxi and limousine drivers can be employees or self-employed.
- NOT ELIGIBLE – Chauffeurs and drivers of ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft.