The Government of Saskatchewan, in partnership with the Government of Canada, introduced a temporary wage supplement of $400 for each four-week period, up to 16 weeks, for the period from March 15, 2020 to July 4, 2020. To be eligible, a worker must earn a wage less than $24.00 per hour at an eligible essential care facility, in the four-week period for which the worker has applied for the supplement.
An eligible worker must also have total earnings less than $2,500, including earnings from work outside an eligible essential care facility, in the four-week period for which the worker has applied for the supplement. Aside from confusing people with its numerous, somewhat contradictory criteria, here is why we think this amounts to the Saskatchewan Government saying “We would pay you less if it wasn’t for this darned pandemic”.
This is limited to essential care industries only. This begs the question why? Well if you look at the trends in wages in frontline “essential” customer service, you see a lot of weird pay arrangements like “hazard pay” and “pandemic pay” being thrown around. In many cases, these pay arrangements act to increase starting wage rates above $15.00 per hour.