GNWT provides funding for low wage workers

Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek at a press conference. (Francis Tessier-Burns/CKLB)

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) will spend up to $6.2 million to temporarily top up wages for workers making less than $18 per hour in the NWT during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is available to all workers in the NWT that are currently earning less than $18 per hour and are over 15-years-old.

Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek made the announcement on Tuesday, May 12, and says “businesses are asked to apply for temporary funding to increase the wages of their employees who make less than $18 per hour, for a maximum of 16 weeks between April 1 and July 31, 2020.”

“We will continue to monitor the economic impact of COVID-19 and introduce further supports for NWT residents and businesses to help support and re-build the NWT economy,” Wawzonek said in a news release.

The GNWT says that the federal government provided $4.74 million in funding for the NWT Wage Top-up Program.

The government funding is retroactive and businesses can collect back to April to top up employees’ wages. The government says businesses can start applying for funding immediately.

Wage top-up is a taxable benefit for employees and therefore you must pay income tax on the additional earnings if you receive it.

“My hope is that these measures will offer some relief and a well-deserved ‘thank-you’, to those among us who need and deserve it most,” Wawzonek said.

The GNWT will provide monthly wage-top-up payments to businesses who have their application approved for a maximum of 16 weeks.

For more information visit nwt-wage-top-program



About the Author

Arthur C. Green
Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked as a spot news photographer/journalist with such news organizations as Vista-radio, CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire and Postmedia in Alberta.