Calgary Sports and Entertainment have announced an income bridge support program for part-time employees who lost shifts with the NHL suspended due to growing concerns over the coronavirus.
"This program will provide part time employees who are affected by this temporary halt in our operations and are applying for and are eligible to receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to receive a top up payment from CSEC, which will provide an overall benefit of up to 95% of your regular average insurable earnings (which is the maximum allowable by Service Canada), to the conclusion of the Flames regular season," the company said in a statement Sunday.
"If you are not eligible to receive EI benefits due to not working sufficient hours you will receive the equivalent CSEC top up portion," the company added.
Last week, CSEC reportedly released a statement saying that employees would be paid for their March 12 shifts because the notice of cancelation was less than 24 hours prior to the cancelation. The company added that no payments will be made for shifts canceled with more than 24 hours notice.
Raymond Lau, a former hourly employee and a longtime season-ticket holder, started a GoFundMe page on Saturday after learning that CSEC would not be compensating workers who lost shifts. In response, several Flames players pitched in on the fundraiser.
Lau said if the company ends up deciding to pay its workers, the money raised will be donated to the Flames Foundation, to a local charity, or it will be used in a way that still benefits the hourly and event staff. The campaign began with a target goal of $10,000 and over $62,000 has been raised as of Sunday.
Several other teams and players around the league have made efforts to compensate part-time workers who have been impacted by the hiatus.