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Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium

The Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium (NEWWP) is a new temporary program from the Government of Nunavut that provides eligible employers in Nunavut with funding so they can pay their lower-wage employees an additional amount for the hours they work. The program ended on September 30, 2020. 


To be eligible for the premium, an employer needs to be part of an eligible sector.

The Government of Nunavut is targeting employers in Nunavut that provide essential services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to Nunavummiut. To be eligible for the premium, an employer must be part of an eligible sector.
NEWWP has been expanded to include the following eligible sectors:

Phase 1

  • employers who provide health or social services to vulnerable Nunavummiut; and
  • licensed childcare facilities.

Examples of employers in this sector include long-term care homes, elders’ or retirement homes, medical boarding homes, shelters, emergency and temporary housing, treatment facilities, food banks, daycares, and after-school programs.

Phase 2

  • employers who operate or maintain critical public infrastructure;
  • building maintenance and cleaning services (including laundry);
  • employers who transport, warehouse, or distribute goods;
  • taxis, marine vessels, and airlines transporting people in-territory;
  • hotels and places of accommodation;
  • food processors, restaurants, and other facilities that prepare food;
  • retail stores selling groceries, household or building supplies, or worker safety materials;
  • banks, credit unions, and related financial institutions;
  • employers that provide for the health and welfare of animals;
  • employers that provide courier, messenger, or other delivery services;
  • mortuary services, including funeral homes and cemeteries;
  • public safety and first responders;
  • essential professional services (including legal, insurance, accounting, and translation);
  • employers who supply, maintain, or otherwise support these sectors;

Examples of employers in this sector include utilities, tank farms, water treatment and removal facilities, road construction and repair, wired and wireless communications providers, waste collectors, plumbing and electrical service providers, carpenters and property managers, trucking and air cargo operations, bylaw enforcement and security, environmental management, automotive repair and gas stations, repair technicians and engineers.

The premium is only available to employers for their employees working in Nunavut.

Applicants must be legally registered in Nunavut as of April 1, 2020 and under Nunavut’s Payroll Tax Act


The amount of wage premium an employee can receive depends on their base wage. This is the amount an employee earns before any adjustments, like overtime, taxes, allowances, benefits, or deductions.
Employees earning up to and including $20 per hour qualify for a $5 per hour premium.
Employees earning between $20 and $25 per hour qualify for a premium that will bring their pay up to $25 per hour. The table below shows how the premium declines.

WAGE Up to $20 $20.50 $21 $21.50 $22 $22.50 $23 $23.50 $24 $24.50 $25
PREMIUM $5 $4.50 $4 $3.50 $3 $2.50 $2 $1.50 $1 $0.50 $-

Employees earning $25 per hour or more do not qualify for a wage premium.

Calculate the subsidy value for each employee according to the following formula:

Hourly wages less than or equal to $20.00 per hour: $5.00
Hourly wages between $20.01 and $24.99 per hour: $25 – wage          
[E.g. $24/hr wage = (25 - 24) = $1.00 subsidy]
Hourly wages equal to or greater than $25.00 per hour: $0
Employers calculate the premium as part of their application. GN Finance officials will review these calculations and will make the final determination based on the information provided.

GN Finance officials administer the program and will review each application to verify that eligibility criteria are met. Once satisfied, they will issue the payment by EFT or, when necessary, cheque.

The processing time from receiving a complete application to when an eligible organization receive their premium is about three weeks. Errors or omissions will delay payment.

Successful applicants will receive 80% of their calculated premium in an initial payment. The remaining 20% will be paid out following successful completion of an audit at the program’s conclusion.

Employees of the federal and territorial governments, as well as their associated agencies, are not eligible for the premium.


Complete the Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium application form and submit it to the Department of Finance.

Successful applications require the following:

An authorized official and their contact information;

  • Date of legal registration and / or incorporation;
  • GST number (if applicable);
  • Payroll Tax Account number;
  • GN Vendor number (if applicable); and

A list of all employees, their SIN numbers, start date, hourly wage, and expected hours worked over the eligible period.

Please ensure you have all the required information listed above. Applications without all the information cannot be processed.


You can submit your application and supporting documentation in various ways.

By email:
By fax: 867-975-5845
By mail:          
Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium
Department of Finance, Government of Nunavut
2nd floor Parnaivik Building, 924 Mivvik Street
PO Box 2260, Iqaluit, Nunavut, X0A 0H0


Read more about the Nunavut Essential Workers Wage Premium here


Read the contribution policy supporting the program here.

Read the NEWWP summary report here.



If you have any questions, visit the GN Finance website, email, or call us at 1-800-316-3324.

The latest GN COVID-19 news and updates can be found on the Government of Nunavut’s homepage: This information is updated daily.

COVID-19 resources can be found on the Department of Health’s COVID-19 information hub:

If you think you may be suffering from COVID-19, please take the self-assessment tool found at: