While many Canadian employers are increasing safety measures for their frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic, a minority are increasing pay or considering doing so, according to a new survey by the Conference Board of Canada.

The majority (86 per cent) of respondents said they have employees who need to attend work in person. All respondents said they’re ensuring the cleanliness of work surfaces, 95 per cent said they’re providing sanitary gels and hand-washing facilities and 94 per cent are enforcing social distancing protocols on employees.

Read: Some large retailers maintaining pay, benefits for store staff amid temporary closures

More than half (58 per cent) of survey respondents said they’ve provided employees with personal protective equipment, 37 per cent are assessing employees’ health upon arrival and 33 per cent are installing physical barriers to protect their employees.

However, just 21 per cent of employers with non-unionized workforces and 15 per cent of employers with unionized staff have elected to offer pay premiums to their public-facing workers, who are more at risk of contracting the virus. Eight per cent of employers with non-unionized staff and nine per cent of employers with unionized workers are considering offering pay increases to those workers.

Among organizations that are offering premiums, 90 per cent of those with non-unionized workforces and sixty per cent of those with unionized workforces are doing it in the form of adding a fixed amount to employees’ pay. On average, non-unionized workers are receiving an additional $4.43 per hour, while unionized workforces are seeing an increase of $3.54 per hour.

The survey also found the majority of employers with unionized (77 per cent) and non-unionized (71 per cent) staff said they aren’t providing premiums to frontline workers.

Read: Lower income workers likely to see least paid time off as pandemic swirls: report

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com