Are salaries rising for healthcare workers?

The COVID-19 pandemic has officially hit the one-year mark, and to say that it’s been a long, difficult, and exhausting year for everyone is a major understatement. Canadians across the country continue to work-from-home and take precautions, as the ‘new normal’ has become exactly that – simply put, it’s the way we can expect to live our day-to-day lives moving forward.

One side effect of the pandemic has been something of a positive one – we’ve seen a small uptick in salaries for healthcare workers, and while it’s still too early to predict whether or not this is going to be permanent, it’s very well-deserved. After all, healthcare workers have been working on the frontlines since the pandemic began, and are very deserving of the pay that they receive. In this blog, we’re going to outline the main reasons for this salary increase, and what we can expect from the future.

Hero pay/pandemic pay/frontline pay

At certain points during the pandemic, provinces across the country have offered various forms of additional pay for frontline workers, which was paid out in different ways from province to province. Ontario, for example, added an additional $4 per hour onto the regular pay of eligible frontline workers, whereas Alberta provided a one-time payment of $1,200 for workers in the healthcare, social services and education sectors. By and large, this was temporary, and it doesn’t appear that such a process will continue as we move further in 2021. However, if it does, RPI will apply it to all relevant situations.

Businesses and employers offering more

Throughout the pandemic, companies such as Loblaws have offered employees a small temporary pay raise at certain times. This applies to RPI’s candidates who would have worked for Shoppers Drug Mart (owned by Loblaws) during these times, as the raise would have also been reflected in their pay. Rest assured that RPI’s team of Account Managers is aware and on top of any potential pay raises from companies that we do business with.

The element of risk

Over the last year, RPI has placed hundreds of candidates into healthcare work environments that present a certain element of risk for employees. For example, nursing homes and long-term care facilities that have been hit hard by COVID-19 cases, or centres for administering COVID tests. In cases like these, candidates often request additional pay, and we will always endeavour to offer it whenever possible.

To add to this, many frontline healthcare workers have been choosing to err on the side of caution and simply not work, which has at times resulted in labour shortages in certain areas across the country. In areas like this, healthcare workers who are willing and able to work could potentially receive higher-than-normal wages.

In closing

While there’s no guarantees on how long healthcare workers will receive a higher salary, the above examples show that it’s happening, and has been happening, across Canada. There are, of course, many factors that determine it, so if you’re ever interested in finding an opportunity that could potentially pay a little more than usual, reach out to your Account Manager today and let them know that you’re interested in hearing about what’s available.

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