TORONTO -- The Ontario government has announced that it will extend the temporary wage enhancement for personal support workers and direct support workers until Mar. 31, 2022.

The province released the update in a news release issued Thursday, stating that the government is investing an additional $373 million to extend the increase.

The temporary wage increase for personal support workers and direct support workers first came into effect on Oct. 1, 2020. Since then, the province has renewed it four times.

The increases include:

  • $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in home and community care;
  • $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
  • $2 per hour for approximately 10,000 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
  • $3 per hour for approximately 60,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services to those who need assistance with the activities of daily living.

Over the summer, Premier Doug Ford said that he “guaranteed” the increases would be made permanent, but that has yet to be announced.

“I've always said folks, personal support workers are overworked, underpaid and they deserve every single penny, times 10. So we're going to keep that in place,” Ford said in July.

“It's a guarantee. We are going to do it.”

The Ministry of Health says that the wage enhancement will affect more than 158,000 workers in community care, long-term care homes, public hospitals and those providing services to children.

They say they hope the extension will help attract and retain workers in these critical sectors.