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In May 2020, the federal government announced an initiative to share costs with provinces and territories for a temporary top-up to the salaries of low-income workers considered essential in responding to COVID-19.

Objective and Scope

Our audit objective was to conclude whether the department had effective systems to design, deliver, monitor, and report on the program.


We conclude—based on our audit criteria and findings—that the Department of Labour and Immigration had processes to design, deliver, monitor, and report on the program. Improvements can be made to  monitoring and reporting processes.

We recommend that the department, as program lead, coordinate and complete processes to verify approved critical workers received their benefit payment. Workers did not apply for and receive benefits directly. Employers applied for, received, and then distributed the benefit to approved workers. We found department processes to obtain supporting documentation from employers verifying payments were not completed.

We are not making a new recommendation to the department on reporting because we still have outstanding recommendations on improving performance reporting to Albertans in ministry annual reports.