According to the Department of Employment and Social Development in Canada, the salary in Ontario is “among the highest” in its category of occupations in support of healthcare workers from across Canada.
Having said that, the salary varies depending upon where you work.
This is the single most deciding factor of how much you can earn as a PSW.
These are the three primary settings where PSWs work:
- Hospitals (about 7%),
- Long-Term Care (about 57%), and
- Community (about 36%)
In general, hospitals in Ontario are the highest paying followed by City-owned Long-Term Care homes.
Check out the following infographic
There are other factors too that might affect your salary.
However, they might not have as much of an impact on how much you get paid:
- Location (City)
- Continuing education
- Certain skills that are required by the employer
- Ability to speak read and write another language
COVID-19 PAY ENHANCEMENT
March 18, 2021: The Ontario Government announced an extension of the $3 temporary bonus for PSWs working in publicly funded organizations such as:
- long-term care homes,
- group homes, and
- some home care settings.
The $3 enhancement is effective until June 30th, 2021.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced in April 2014, a “PSW Wage Enhancement Initiative” as part of the PSW Workforce Stabilization Strategy.
The purpose of this enhancement initiative was to set up an increase by up to $4 per hour over three years.
This salary increase, however, applies only to Personal Support Workers who work in the community and provide “publically funded” personal support services.
With this increase, as of April 01, 2016, all PSWs providing services that are publically funded must be getting a minimum of $16.50 per hour.
WHAT ARE PUBLICALLY FUNDED PSW SERVICES?
In Ontario, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provide local health services through the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).
When someone needs care in the community, LHINs determine if the type of care required is eligible for government-funded services.
If it is, LHINs Case Managers, also called Integrated Care Coordinators, liaise with providers (agencies) to arrange for PSWs to provide such care.
It is this care that you provide qualifies as “publically funded” and warrants a minimum of $16.50 from your employing agency.
If you work in the following settings and your Personal Support Services are funded by LHIN, you qualify for a base rate of $16.50:
- Adult day programs,
- Overnight respite, and
- Provide services as part of the Centre of Independent Living in Toronto.
Government’s PSW enhancement directive aimed to bring minimum of PSWs providing publically funded personal support services in the community to $16.50 by April 01, 2016.
DID YOU GET THE RAISE?
As per the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 95% of employers (agencies) that hire PSWs for providing publically funded home care services, followed ministry directives.
The remaining 5% of agencies did not give PSWs the raise as mandated by the ministry.
The ministry is aware of these employers and is taking steps to bring them into compliance.
If you’re not getting the base hourly rate from your employer and believe you’re eligible for the increase, you have the right to speak to your employer to determine your eligibility.
ELIGIBLE PERSONAL SUPPORT SERVICES?
The $1.00 enhancement on top of the base pay of $16.50 per hour applies only to PSWs providing publically funded Personal Support Services.
As per the Home Care and Community Services act, 1994, following are considered Personal Support Services:
1. Personal hygiene activities.
2. Routine personal activities of daily living (ADL’s).
3. Assisting a person with any of the personal hygiene activities or ADL’s.
4. Training a person to carry out or assist with any of the personal hygiene activities or ADL’s.
5. Providing prescribed equipment, supplies or other goods.
6. Services prescribed as personal support services.
Any of the work you do in the community that is not direct care is not eligible for the $1.00 enhancement.
As per the Home Care and Community Services act, 1994, following are not considered Personal Support Services:
2. Doing laundry
7. Paying bills
8. Planning menus
9. Preparing meals
10. Caring for children
11. Assisting a person with any of the activities mentioned above
12. Training a person to carry out or assist with any of the activities mentioned above
13. Providing prescribed equipment, supplies or other goods.
14. Services prescribed as homemaking services
DID YOU NOT GET THE ENHANCEMENT?
There might be two scenarios under which you’ve not been given an enhancement to the $16.50 base pay, despite the fact that the care you provide is publically funded.
One of the reason could be that your employer did not participate in Government’s PSW enhancement program.
In this case, there is nothing much you can do.
It was your employer’s decision to not participate and accept the funding to provide you a enhancement.
You can question your employer though.
Other reason could be that your employer is non-compliant with government’s directives.
You see, agencies that participated in the enhancement program were to provide a “Certificate of Compliance” to the Ministry through the LIHN they are associated with.
The deadline to provide this certificate was August 15, 2016.
You have the right to question your employer on this as well.
PSWs THAT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THIS RAISE
Please note that the enhancement initiative is only for PSWs working in the community (that provide LHIN funded care) and does not apply to PSWs working in:
- long-term care homes, or
- providing private care in the community.
PSWs providing services that are not “Personal Support Services” are also not eligible for the raise.
Some examples of non-Personal Support Services are:
- Grocery shopping.
- Companionship, and
- Light housekeeping etc.
PSW PAY RATE BY REGION
Ontario is the second largest province in Canada and is the most populated.
It is divided into many regions including the vast north and the densely populated south.
PSWs provide services in every nook and corner of Ontario in the form of community care or care in facility-based settings.
In the community, it depends on the requirements of the job, work conditions, type of care needed, location and the availability.
The market report for Personal Support Workers, a comprehensive analysis by the Government of Ontario, provides a breakdown in different regions of Ontario.
Check out the details below:
You see, Ontario Healthcare system is stressed by the rising healthcare costs.
To prevent the situation from worsening further, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has developed “Healthcare Action Plan ” which aims at increasing home and community care funding.
Considering the fact that 70% of home and community care in Ontario is provided by Personal Support Workers and Community Support Workers, there will be more jobs for these healthcare workers.
But due to attrition of existing workforce and multifold increase in the number of seniors requiring care, it will be hard to catch-up with the demand for PSW’s.
Due to above mentioned antagonistic forces, PSW’s are going to be in high demand but there won’t be enough of them to fulfill that demand.
This means only one thing: Personal Support Workers salary will go up.
EXAMPLES OF PAY RATE
There is a wide array of pay scales for Personal Support Workers. Here are some of the examples of hourly pay offered by employers on Ontario. These snapshots have been taken from PSW job descriptions posted by various employees.
For facility-based care through employment agencies
For Home/Residential Care through employment agencies
Independent/Private Long-Term Care homes (Nursing homes)
City-owned Long-Term Care homes (Nursing homes)
If you’re not getting the enhanced salary from your employer, we would like to hear from you.
Provide your scenario in the comments section below. You don’t have to include any of your personal details or name the employer.
Resources you’ll need to become a Personal Support Worker
On this page, you can find anything there is to know about how to become a personal support worker, how to succeed as one, and how to continue your education. This is the place to come to and look for all the PSW resources and information that you may need on your journey as a Personal Support Worker.
PSW job interview questions
If you’re determined to pass your next PSW interview with flying colors, we’re here to help. PSWHQ have put together a thorough online guide with PSW interview questions and appropriate sample answers to these questions that hit the target, and are concise and supportive.
Performing well in the interview is just one part of many others needed to secure a PSW Job. First and foremost, you’ll need to have an impeccable résumé and cover letter in order to be called for an interview.
Guide to finding PSW jobs
After you have decided to become a Personal Support Worker and completed the course you are now at a point to start looking for work. It is important that you explore all the jobs listed under different job titles, which is why you should go through our ultimate guide to finding PSW jobs.
We also help you find PSW job postings from hospitals, long-term care homes, and community and private settings.
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1. How much do PSW get paid in Ontario?
Housekeepers and other related occupations (NOC 4412) typically make between $13.46/hour and $23.08/hour in Canada, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A personal support worker – home support is someone who provides home-based assistance to others.
2. Do PSW get pensions in Canada?
No, they are not eligible for pensions in Canada.
3. Is there a shortage of PSW in Ontario?
Currently, there is a shortage of PSWs. As a result of the pandemic, many workers have been displaced from their jobs, particularly in the hospitality and tourism industries.
4. How much does a PSW make in Quebec?
A PSW in Quebec makes an average of $19.50 per hour.
5. Is it hard being a PSW?
It is hard being a PSW because they are usually the first person to come in contact with any patients. This means that they have to be able to handle any situation that may arise, such as an emergency or difficult patient. They also need to be very knowledgeable about health care and medical terminology so that they can provide accurate information for the patient’s needs (such as medication instructions).