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New minimum wage increase in Ontario

minimum-wage-increaseMinimum wage is the lowest wage rate an employer can legally pay their employee. Ontario has one of the highest minimum wage rates; as of October 1st, 2016 Ontario’s minimum wage rate will be increasing.

The majority of employees are entitled to minimum wage, including casual employees, full-time and part-time employees, and those paid an hourly rate, piece rate, flat rate, salary, or commission. There are some exemptions from minimum wage provisions of the Employment Standards Act; for more information on the jobs that are exempted see “Industries and Jobs with ESA Exemptions and/or Special Rules”.

Minimum Wage Rates
Minimum Wage Rate Current Rates: Rates as of October 1, 2015 Announced Rates as of October 1, 2016
General Minimum Wage $11.25
per hour
$11.40
per hour
Student Minimum Wage $10.55
per hour
$10.70
per hour
Liquor Servers Minimum Wage $9.80
per hour
$9.90
per hour
Hunting and Fishing Guides Minimum Wage $56.30
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day$112.60
Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
$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
Homeworkers Wage $12.40
per hour
$12.55
per hour

As of October 1st, 2016, the new wage rate for lowest paid workers in Ontario will be $11.40 an hour, which is a 15 cent increase since last year.

Minimum wage for students that are under the age of 18 will be increasing to $10.70 an hour, which is also a 15 cent increase. This rate applies to students who work 28 hours or less during the school year or who work during breaks and summer holidays.

Minimum wage for Servers and licensed bar services that receive tips will be increasing to $9.90 an hour, which is a 10 cent increase. This rate applies to employees who serve liquor to customers for business and that have a license or permit to do so on their work property.

Minimum wage for Hunting and fishing guides will be increasing to $56.95 an hour, which is a 65 cent increase. This rate applies when workers have worked less than five consecutive hours in a day. Their wages are based on blocks of time, rather than a rate per hour. If five or more hours are worked in a day, they would receive a different wage.

Minimum wage for Homeworkers, workers who do paid work for an employer in their own homes, will be increasing to $12.55 an hour, which is a 15 cent increase. Students, including students under the age of 18 years old, who are homeworkers must be paid this minimum pay as well.

Minimum wage laws and requirements exist in almost every country. Some people agree that minimum wage has beneficial aspects and some people strongly disagree with it. It is said that minimum wage increases the standard of living for workers, reduces poverty and reduces inequity. Ontario government’s strategy for having minimum wage is to build a stronger economy. Labour Minister Kevin Flynn explains that,

It’s important for people to know that there is a consistent, transparent and fair approach to setting the province’s minimum wage that ensures workers receive annual increases that keep up with inflation. It’s also important we provide predictability to businesses so they can prepare for annual wage increases. This helps to build a more prosperous economy and a fairer society for all.

The new minimum wage rates were published on or before April 1st, 2016, though they do not come in effect till October 1st, 2016; this gives all employers time to prepare for the wage changes. If the changes to pay run between pay periods, the pay periods must be treated separately. The days an employee works leading up to October 1st will be recorded and paid out at the current minimum wage, any time worked from October 1st forward, employees must be paid the new minimum wage rates.

Beyond Rewards Inc

Human Resources and Risk Management Consultants and Training Provider at Beyond Rewards Inc
Beyond Rewards is a boutique firm offering a full suite of Human Resource, Safety, Workplace investigations, Accessibility Standards and Risk Management solutions, online training programs and customized face to face training for our clients. Several exceptional expert consultants led by Lynne Bard, HBa, CHRP, CES, President/Senior Consultant,will be blogging regularly on First Reference Talks on behalf of Beyond Rewards Inc. Read more here.
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