The rules and issues around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve and information changes consistently. Please take note of when our content was written and always go to the sources we’ve provided for the most current guidance.

If you’re a health, social service or corrections employee delivering in-person, front-line care during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for BC COVID-19 Temporary Pandemic Pay. Here are some eligibility and coverage details.     

What support is provided?  

If you’re an eligible front-line worker, you can expect to receive a lump-sum payment equivalent to about $4 per hour for straight-time hours worked any time over a 16-week period, starting on March 15, 2020. 

If you worked 35 hours in a week, you can expect the calculation to look like this:  

  • 35hrs x $4 = $140 per week.  
  • Or, $2,240 for 16 weeks (provided your hours remain consistent).  

Keep in mind: 

  • This is not a wage increase. 
  • Because pandemic pay is distributed as lump-sum payments, you should not expect to see the funds on every paycheque. 
  • The timing and frequency of the lump-sum payments may vary from employer to employer. 
  • The payment doesn’t impact eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). 


To receive temporary pandemic pay, you must: 

  • Have been working straight-time hours at any point during the 16-week period starting on March 15, 2020. 
    • Straight-time hours are an employee’s normal hours. (This means overtime hours are not eligible.)
    • Casual and on-call workers who have worked straight-time hours during this period are also eligible. 
  • Work in an eligible sector, workplace, and role, delivering in-person, front-line care in health, social services and corrections 
  • Provide additional support and relief to front-line workers by working in ways that directly serve vulnerable populations. 

Excluded management staff, fee-for-service providers or employees on leave are not eligible. 

This temporary pandemic pay is not dependent on whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace location.  

Do I need to apply?  

No application is required to receive temporary pandemic pay. 

If you are eligible, the lump-sum payments will be delivered through your employer. Government provides the funds to employers who then distribute the funds to eligible employees. 

What else to know:   

  • This lump-sum temporary pandemic pay is taxable. 
  • The pay will not affect your pension (because it is lump-sum). If you are not a member of the Municipal Pension Plan you should confirm with your employer
  • It has no impact on the benefits that are paid to you by your employer. 
  • The payment only applies for straight-time hours worked within the 16-week period. Employees who weren’t in the workplace will not receive pandemic pay (i.e. vacation, authorized paid leave including sick leave). 
  • If you are part of a union, consult with your employer to determine whether dues will apply to this specific-lump sum payment. For some employees, union dues are a percentage of earnings, for others it’s a fixed rate. 

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Look through all of our COVID-19 related information on our website.        

Where do we fit in? 

Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.    

About Consumer Protection BC: 

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at