Canada: Deadline for employers to apply for Alberta critical worker benefit is 19 March 2021 (COVID-19)

Canada: Deadline for Alberta critical worker benefit

Essential business owners in Alberta may be able to access a benefit for eligible employees to receive a one-time payment of $1,200* under the critical worker benefit.


This benefit is available to certain private sector workers who deliver critical basic services, or support food and medical supply chains. Employers must apply online on behalf of their eligible employees by 19 March 2021.

To be eligible for the critical worker benefit, private sector workers must:

  • Earn $25 per hour or less
  • Have worked at least 300 hours, including overtime and paid leave, from a single employer (the same employer applying for the benefit on behalf of the worker) between the period of 12 October 2020 and 31 January 2021
  • Be located and working in Alberta

This benefit does not affect eligibility for employment insurance (EI) and does not form part of an employee's base salary. The one-time payment also does not affect employer-paid benefits. The benefit payment is considered non-pensionable earnings and subject to income tax, Canada pension plan, and EI payroll deductions.

To be eligible to apply for the benefit, an employer must be:

  • A private sector for-profit employer (sole proprietors, general and limited partnerships, and corporations)
  • Located and operating in Alberta
  • Operating in one of the following eligible sectors:
    • Food and beverage stores (excluding liquor and cannabis stores)
    • Health and personal care stores (excluding cosmetics, beauty and fragrance stores)
    • Gas stations
    • Food manufacturing
    • Truck transportation or warehousing and storage of food and medical supplies
    • Courier and messengers (excluding post offices, bicycle messengers or take-out delivery)
    • Offices of physicians, dentists, and other health practitioners

Read a March 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Canada

*$=Canadian dollar

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