Are You Prepared for the Minimum Wage Increase?

As an Ontario employer, are you prepared for the increase in minimum wage, which takes effect October 1?

Starting on that date, the general minimum wage throughout the province will rise from $11 an hour to $11.25 an hour. This is the result of recent changes to the Employment Standards Act of 2000, which ties to Ontario’s Consumer Price Index. Minimum wage adjustments are based on the rate of inflation.

Affected Employees

Most workers are eligible for minimum wage, whether they are full or part time, casual or hourly, on commission or piece work, flat rate or salaried. However, some employees have jobs that are exempt.

If this change comes partway through a pay period, that period must be treated as if it were two separate pay periods, and affected employees are entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies in each one.

In addition to the general minimum wage, the following categories and rates apply in Ontario:

  • Student minimum wage: This rate increases from $10.30 an hour to $10.55 an hour. It applies to students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session, or who work during school breaks or summer holidays.
  • Liquor servers’ minimum wage: This hourly rate applies to employees who serve liquor directly to customers or guests in licensed premises, as a regular part of their work. It will increase from $9.55 an hour to $9.80 an hour.
  • Hunting and fishing guides’ minimum wage: This minimum wage is based on blocks of time instead of by the hour. Hunting and fishing guides receive a minimum amount for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and a different amount for working five hours or more, whether or not the hours are consecutive. The respective changes in this rate are from $55.00 to $56.30 and from $110.00 to $112.60.
  • Homeworkers’ minimum wage: Homeworkers are employees who do paid work in their own homes. Students of any age – including those younger than 18 – who are employed as homeworkers must be paid this wage. On October 1, it will be raised from $12.10 an hour to $12.40 an hour.

To ensure that you and your business are ready for compliance with the new provincial minimum wage rates, you can learn more from the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Contact Employment Professionals Canada and read our related posts to stay abreast of this and other key developments that impact your company and its employees.