COVID-19 Support for Essential Workers - Earning $3,000/month or less

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Applications for this program are now closed.

This program is intended to provide a temporary wage top-up to essential workers employed during the PEI Public Health State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible employees earning $3,000 per month or less will receive a one-time payment of $1,000, administered through their employer. 

Who is eligible to participate?

Eligibility Information - Employers

Eligible PEI employers include any business or organization including for-profit, non-profit, public sector or other entity providing goods and services, deemed to be providing an essential service  as defined by the PEI Chief Public Health Office as of May 11, 2020 (see table below).

"Essential services" is defined as services that the interruption of which would endanger the life, health or personal safety of the whole or part of the population.

Eligibility Information – Essential Workers earning $3,000 per month or Less 

An eligible employee must:

  • be a resident of Prince Edward Island for at least six months and legally authorized to work in Canada; 
  • be employed in any business or organization providing ‘essential services’ as defined by the PEI Chief Public Health Office as of May 11, 2020;
  • have earnings $3,000/month or less (gross) in a consecutive four-week period during the program eligibility period from April 6, 2020 through to July 26, 2020;
  • have an hourly wage of $18.75/hr or less; and
  • have worked a minimum of 60 hours during the consecutive four week period selected (ie. April 6, 2020 – May 3, 2020) (Note, the eligible employees must have worked the minimum required hours prior to receiving payment under the program).

Employees are only eligible to receive this support once and cannot access this support from multiple employers.

Employers must complete the application on behalf of the employees. 

How does the program work?

Once an employer submits a completed application package, a Skills PEI Program Officer will contact you to review and discuss your application.

Program Details 

  • Eligible employers can request assistance under the program to provide a $1,000 payment to eligible employees who:
    • have earnings $3,000 /month or less (gross) in a consecutive four-week period during the program eligibility period from April 6, 2020 through to July 26, 2020;
    • have an hourly wage of $18.75/hr or less; and 
    • have worked a minimum of 60 hours during the selected four week period (Note, the eligible employees must have worked the minimum required hours prior to receiving payment under the program);
  • Program eligibility period is from April 6, 2020 through to July 26, 2020;
  • Employers are required to provide eligible employees with a one-time $1,000 payment subject to appropriate payroll deductions;
  • Employers will also be eligible for 10% administrative costs to cover the Mandatory Employer Related Costs (MERC’s).

How do I apply?


  • Employers are required to complete the COVID-19 Support for Essential Workers Organization application on behalf of eligible employees. 
  • Employers are permitted to submit multiple applications during the program eligibility period to support their business requirements.

Applications can be submitted online by clicking the 'Apply Now' button at the bottom of this page or by contacting SkillsPEI at to request a paper application.

To assess your application, Skills PEI requires:

  • Completed COVID-19 Support for Essential Workers Organization Application form;
  • Completed and signed Payee Registration Form. It is recommended this form be uploaded during the application process. Do not email the Payee Registration Form to Payment Processing.
  • Employers banking information - Void cheque OR correspondence from financial institution for direct deposit

In order to complete the online application, you will need the following information:

  • Legal Business Name
  • Provincial Corporate Registry Number or Business Number/HST Number
  • Workers Compensation Firm Number
  • Date Business Established
  • Legal Signing Officers

What is the deadline for applications?

Employer applications can be submitted until August 28, 2020. 


For more information regarding this program,contact


Phone: 902-368-6290 or 902-438-4151


Essential Services as of May 11, 2020
Category Services Included
Financial Services
  • Capital markets, and related securities trading and advisory services
  • Banking/Credit Union activities including credit intermediation
  • Insurance
  • Real estate trading and agency related services
Retail (sale of goods and services)
  • Food Premises (including food and beverage serving businesses for take-out, drive-through and delivery service only; no public seating is permitted)
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Farmers markets (pick-up and delivery service only)
  • Food Banks
  • Convenience stores
  • Discount stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Cleaning and restoration services (emergency only)
  • Fuel Distribution Services
  • Household maintenance and repair (critical to integrity and preservation of the building – eg. eavestrough cleaning)
Health and Wellness
  • Dental, optometrists, ophthalmologist, physical therapy, occupational therapy, podiatry, and other regulated health professionals - only to provide urgent care
  • Healthcare
  • Healthcare operations
  • Pharmacies
  • Urgent care/support worker
Key Personal Services
  • Auto and bicycle repair shops
  • Banks
  • Computer and cellphone service and repair
  • Courier services
  • Court services
  • Electronic and office supply retailers
  • Gas stations
  • Laundromats and commercial dry cleaners
  • Licensed tourism accommodations such as hotels and motels
  • Pet stores (pet grooming-only for emergency health reasons)
  • Post offices
  • Public transit (including taxi service and Pat & the Elephant)
  • Rental companies (vehicles and equipment)
  • Repair services (construction, electrical, plumbing, and heating; emergency services only)
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Moving firms
  • Lawn maintenance (including mowing, rolling, and spring clean-up)
Key Public Services
  • Government officials (MLAs, MPs, Lieutenant Governor) and their support staff
  • Fire, police and security services
  • Court services
  • Child Protection Services
  • Funeral directors
  • Professional services, including but not limited to, lawyers and paralegals, engineers, accountants - teleworking and working from home, where possible.
  • Maintenance of utilities (e.g. electricity)
  • Payroll departments
  • Provision of clean water
  • Road maintenance and repair
  • Transportation
  • Communication and IT Infrastructure (phone, internet, radio, television, newspaper, call centres)
  • Garbage, recycling and waste management collection
  • Community gardens
  • Extermination and pest control for purposes of environmental remediation / monitoring and emergencies (does not apply to cosmetic pesticides)
  • Construction services and projects (industrial, commercial, institutional and residential; only those that have been issued a building permit)
Supply Chain
  • Agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries services
  • Feed mills
  • Food distribution and storage centres
  • Food manufacturers
  • Industrial manufacturers


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