Guidelines for the administration of temporary targeted wage enhancements for MCCSS-funded children's direct funding programs (December 2020)

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1.0 Principles
2.0 Eligibility period
3.0 Eligibility requirements
4.0 Other eligibility requirements and exclusions
5.0 Financial administration and eligible programs
6.0 Timelines, pay timelines and attestation

1.0 Principles

COVID-19 has created pressures around the provision of safe and supportive care for vulnerable people. Wage enhancements will help support a stable and growing workforce to provide the right services for these people.

The temporary wage enhancement applies to:

This temporary wage enhancement is put in place to recognize those who have been providing personal support services play a vital part in the health and social services delivery in the province.

2.0 Eligibility period

Temporary wage enhancements are effective as of, and retroactive to, October 1, 2020. Eligible workers, based on approved applications, will receive $3 per hour worked on top of their existing hourly wages.

Wage enhancements will not be provided for any time not engaged in work, including:

3.0 Eligibility requirements

Temporary wage enhancements are designed to support eligible full- and part-time workers. Eligibility is not dependent on whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the location where an eligible worker works.

To be eligible, work functions, regardless of job class, must involve the primary provision of personal client care to individuals with special needs, including developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, medical issues and/or behaviour challenges.

Eligible workers are responsible for assisting in daily living tasks, personal care and support, and ensuring the personal safety and welfare of individuals in community and home settings, and/or for the provision of caregiver respite. This care may be performed in direct proximity to the client involving physical interaction, or virtually/online.

The provision of personal client care includes:

4.0 Other eligibility requirements and exclusions

Eligible

Excluded

5.0 Financial administration and eligible programs

5.1 Administration of temporary wage enhancements

Families employing potentially eligible staff with funding from one or more of the above direct funding programs are invited to submit an application to the ministry for the temporary wage enhancement through an online web application process on an as-needed basis.

In the application, families must indicate:

Eligible workers must perform the eligible work functions during the number of hours requested for each claim in the application.

Families can submit multiple claims in one application form. Each claim will be for a one- month period (e.g., October). Once the applications have been approved, families will receive payments based on the total amount approved for each of the claims within an application.

Families must apply by March 22 for the eligibility period, which is October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Payments are retroactive to October 1, 2020. The ministry may request further information to confirm worker eligibility and number of hours worked in the eligible period.

Families should adjust their information as necessary to accurately reflect the number of direct support workers employed and the number of hours worked or projected to be worked. If required, families can edit/update existing applications after they have been submitted through the online application page and resubmit. The ministry may request further information to confirm worker eligibility and hours worked.

The temporary wage enhancements:

Families will be reimbursed for the incremental increase in the cost of contributions to CPP, EI, EHT and WSIB as well as the incremental increase in the cost of providing statutory entitlements (e.g., holiday pay, vacation pay, or overtime, if applicable) resulting from temporary wage enhancements in accordance with the Employment Standards Act or any applicable collective agreement(s). These amounts will be included in the reimbursement payments.

The temporary wage enhancements do not impact a worker’s eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) or recovery benefits offered by the federal government.

The ministry will review applications submitted by families and may at its sole discretion assess whether the application is eligible for temporary wage enhancements. The ministry may request further information from the families in making this assessment.

5.2 Payments to eligible families

The ministry will make a payment for the total approved amount for all the claims submitted through an application by families who are employing, or who are being supported by eligible workers, based on the eligibility requirements for the temporary targeted wage enhancement funding.

Temporary wage enhancement funds must be used only for the purpose of providing a $3 per hour increase to eligible workers that families employ using funding from the ministry’s direct funding children’s programs. They must not be used for any other costs or any other purpose unless otherwise specified.

5.3 Ontario Autism Program (OAP) - Childhood Budgets and Interim One-time Funding

Funding applied for and received by families to support the wage enhancement will be received by families through the online ministry web application process, which is separate from the funding that families receive through Childhood Budgets and Interim One-time Funding.

For the purpose of reconciliation, families should not include the wage enhancement funding as part of the submission of their expense form for Childhood Budgets and Interim One-time Funding.

5.4 Special Services at Home (SSAH) and Enhanced Respite for Medically Fragile and/or Technologically Dependent Children (MFTDC)

Funding applied for and received by families to support the wage enhancement will be received by families through the ministry web application process, which is separate from the funding that families receive through the SSAH and MFTDC programs.

Families will continue to submit invoices from their direct support workers to their regional offices for reimbursement. These invoices should not include the $3 per hour wage enhancement.

If the wage enhancement is included in the claim amount, families should indicate that the wage enhancement has been received and reimbursed through the online wage enhancement application process. Any overpayment of the wage enhancement will be recoverable by reduction of future invoice reimbursements.

Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)

Funding applied for and received by families to support the wage enhancement will be received by families through the ministry web application process, which is separate from the funding that families receive through the ACSD program.

Per the normal process, families do not need to submit invoices for reimbursement through their regional offices. Families will receive funding for the wage enhancement based on claims made through the web application process, which is separate from the funding that families receive through the ACSD program.

6.0 Attestation

6.1 Attestation

Families submitting an application will be required to complete an attestation of the accuracy of the information provided in the application form. By accepting funding, families are agreeing to abide by the requirements in these guidelines and the application. Any funding not spent in accordance with these guidelines and the application will be returned to the ministry. The ministry reserves the right to request further information about funding received pursuant to the wage enhancement from the families at any point beyond the eligibility period of the temporary targeted wage enhancement.