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New minimum wage in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island

minimum-wage-increaseThis morning’s blog post informed you of the upcoming minimum wage increase on October 1, 2016, in Ontario. However, there are upcoming minimum wage increases on October 1, 2016 in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island as well.

  • The Alberta minimum wage is increasing to $12.20 for most employees; the current liquor server rate will be abolished effective October 1, 2016; a weekly minimum wage of $486 for many salespersons, including land agents and certain professionals; and a monthly minimum wage of $2,316 for domestic employees.
  • The Saskatchewan‘s general minimum wage will increase from $10.50 to $10.72 per hour.
  • The Prince Edward Island general minimum wage will increase to $11.00 per hour from $10.75 per hour.

Also important to note that on September 15, 2016, British Columbia did increase the general minimum wage from $10.45 to $10.85.

In addition, the New Brunswick government recently announced a consultation on the province’s minimum wage. Since 2014, the New Brunswick government has increased the minimum wage twice, to $10.65 per hour, and is committed to further increasing it to $11 per hour by 2017 and then indexing it to the rate of inflation.

As it stands, several provinces are anticipating minimum wage increases in 2017 indexed to the rate of inflation and others, like Alberta, is planning to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018.

According to the most recent numbers by Statistics Canada, in 2013, the proportion of all paid employees earning the minimum wage was 6.7 percent, up from 5.0 percent in 1997. Most of the increase took place between 2003 and 2010. Statistics Canada’s report states,

To some degree, the increase in the proportion of minimum-wage employees during those years was the result of increases in the minimum-wage rate in many provinces. This is because a portion of those who were paid just above the former minimum rate became paid at the new, revised rate and joined the group of minimum-wage earners.”

[…]

“For example, the proportion of young employees aged 15 to 19 who were paid the minimum wage rose from 30% in 2003 to 45% in 2010. At the same time, the proportion of those who were paid a rate between the minimum wage and 10% above the minimum wage declined from 31% to 21%. Young employees, less educated employees, part-time employees and those working in service industries were most likely to be paid at minimum wage.”

The minimum wage is the provincial or territorial mandated rate. Employers must pay individuals the minimum wage according to provincial or territorial guidelines. However, to remain competitive in the labour market, many employers offer wages above the mandated minimum wage rate.

So what do employers need to do with this information? Employers must ensure that employees earning the minimum wage in their province or territory receive the minimum wage increase on the day it becomes effective. No employee can work and be paid less than the minimum wage. Thus, it requires changes to their payroll system and information provided on the employee’s pay stub as well as changes to their pay policies. In addition, employers may also face increasing wages across the board. Minimum wage increases often bring unskilled or lower-level employee wages closer to the pay for individuals with technical or expert abilities. Business owners may need to consider raising these individual’s wages to compensate for minimum wage increases.

Here is a brief overview of the minimum wage across Canada.

Minimum wage chart across Canada

Jurisdiction

General

Special or
other rates

Effective date

Upcoming changes

Alberta

$11.20

$446 per week for salespersons

Domestic employees must be paid a minimum of $2,127 monthly

Liquor servers $10.70

Oct. 1, 2015 (Minimum wage is adjusted annually relative to average weekly earnings and the Consumer Price Index)

The general minimum wage will rise to $12.20 per hour and the current liquor server rate will be abolished effective October 1, 2016. Weekly and monthly minimum wages used by certain professions will rise to $486 and $2,316, respectively, at the same time. Minimum wage will rise a further $1.40 to $13.60 per hour on October 1, 2017, and by $1.40 to $15 per hour on October 1, 2018. Weekly and monthly rates will rise by equivalent amounts.

Newfoundland and Labrador

$10.50

Overtime wage rate is $15.75 per hour

Oct. 1, 2015

 

New Brunswick

$10.65

Overtime rate is $15.98 per hour

$468.60 per wk for employees whose weekly hours of work are unverifiable and who are not strictly employed on a commission basis

April 1, 2016

The provincial government plans to further increase the minimum wage to $11 per
hour by 2017 and thereafter by the rate of inflation.

Nova Scotia

$10.70 Experience employees

$10.20 Inexperienced employees (less than 3 months)

Other workers Logging and Forest Operations $2098.55 per month

April 1, 2016 (On April 1 of each year, this rate is adjusted by the change in the Consumer Price Index)

 

Saskatchewan

$10.50

Minimum call-out pay $31.50

Oct. 1, 2015 (On October 1 of each year, this rate increases based on the average of the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index and the percentage change in average hourly wage for Saskatchewan during the previous year. Changes to the minimum wage must be announced on or before June 30th of each year )

On October 1, 2016, Saskatchewan’s minimum wage will increase from $10.50 to $10.72 per hour.

Prince Edward Island

$10.75

 

June 1, 2016

The minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to $11 per hour by the end of 2016. On October 1 to $11.00 per hour.

Yukon

$11.07

If employees are not paid an hourly rate or on piece work, minimum wage is 8 hours multiplied by $11.07 or $88.56 for each day or part day worked.

For piece worker or someone paid a commission: The minimum wage for these employees is calculated by multiplying the standard hours worked in a pay period by the minimum wage. For example, an
employee works 72 hours in a 2 week period. The minimum wage for this employee is $797.04 (72 hours X $11.07).

April 1, 2016 (Adjusted annually on April 1 relative to the Consumer Price Index)

 

Manitoba

$11.00

Workers with agencies providing services for people living with intellectual disabilities $13.00 an hour, July 1, 2015

October 1, 2015

 

Ontario

$11.25 for employees 18 years of age and over

$10.55 for employees under 18 years of age and hours less than 28/wks

$9.80 for Liquor servers

Hunting and Fishing Guides: less than 5 consective hours a day: $56.30 per day
Hunting and Fishing Guides: 5 or more hours a day whether or not the hours are consecutive: $112.60
Homeworkers (defined as people doing paid work in their home for an employer) 110 per cent of the general minimum wage: $12.40

Oct. 1, 2015 (On April 1 of each year, this rate is adjusted by the change in the Consumer Price Index and takes effect October 1 of each year)

The minimum wage is increasing from $11.25 to $11.40 per hour, effective October 1, 2016. The minimum wage rates for jobs in special categories (liquor servers, homeworkers, students, etc.) are also increasing at the same time. The rate for students (under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session, or work during a school break or summer holidays) is increasing to $10.70 per hour. The rate for liquor servers is increasing to $9.90 per hour. The homeworker wage increasing to $12.55 per hour. And finally, the hunting and fishing minimum wages are increasing as follows:
$56.95 rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day. $113.95 rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive.

Quebec

$10.75

$9.20 Liquor servers or employees who usually receive gratuities and tips

$10.55 Clothing industry

The rate for agricultural workers who harvest strawberries 0.85 per kilogram, and $3.18 per kilogram for raspberries

May 1, 2016

 

British Columbia

$10.85

liquor servers $9.60 per hour

The minimum daily wage for a live-in home support worker is $108.50 each, day or part day worked.

The minimum daily wage for a live-in camp leader is $86.80 for each day or part day worked.

The minimum wage for a resident caretaker is: (a) for an apartment building containing 9 to 60 residential suites, $651.00 a month plus $26.09 for each suite; and (b) for an apartment
building containing 61 or more residential suites, $2,217.46.

The minimum wage, including 4% of gross earnings vacation pay, for farm workers who are employed on a piece work basis and hand harvest the following berry, fruit or vegetable crops, is, for the gross volume or weight picked, as follows:
(a) apples – $18.06 a bin (27.1 cu. ft.);
(b) apricots – $20.77 a 1/2 bin (13.7 cu. ft.);
(c) beans – $0.248 a pound;
(d) blueberries – $0.419 a pound;
(e) Brussels sprouts – $0.172 a pound;
(f) cherries – $0.237 a pound;
(g) grapes – $19.19 a 1/2 bin (13.7 cu. ft.);
(h) mushrooms – $0.249 a pound;
(i) peaches – $19.19 a 1/2 bin (12.6 cu. ft.);
(j) pears – $20.33 a bin (27.1 cu. ft.);
(k) peas – $0.309 a pound;
(l) prune plums – $20.33 a 1/2 bin (13.7 cu. ft.);
(m) raspberries – $0.378 a pound;
(n) strawberries – $0.363 a pound;

The minimum wage for farm workers who are employed on a piece work basis and hand harvest the following crop is, for gross number picked, as follows: (a) daffodils – $0.145 a bunch (10 stems).

Sept. 15, 2016 (On April 1 of each year, this rate is adjusted by the change in the Consumer Price Index and takes effect September of each year)

The general minimum wage increases will increase to $11.25 on September 15, 2017.

Northwest Territories

$12.50

 

June 1, 2015 (Minimum wage is adjusted annually relative to the Consumer Price Index.)

 

Nunavut

$13.00

 

April 1, 2016

 

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Yosie Saint-Cyr

Managing Editor at First Reference Inc.
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is a trained lawyer called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practiced business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 15 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour across the country. Read more
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