The government of Ontario has announced that it is raising the minimum wage from $10.25 to $11.00 effective June 1, 2014. It will also introduce legislation to tie future increases to the rate of inflation.
The minimum wage had been frozen at its current level since March 31, 2010.
This will make Ontario’s minimum wage the highest of any Canadian province, tied only with the northern territory of Nunavut. Ontario will also be raising the minimum wage from $9.60 to $10.30 for students under 18 working less than 28 hours per week, and from $8.90 to $9.55 for liquor servers.
The government’s announcement follows the release of the Ontario Minimum Wage Advisory Panel (“Panel”) Report. Established in June 2013, the Panel was given a mandate to examine Ontario’s current minimum wage policy and provide advice on an approach for determining the minimum wage in the future. The Panel recommended, among other things, that minimum wage be increased annually, tied to the Ontario Consumer Price Index, effective April 1 each year. However, as the Panel’s mandate was to focus on how the minimum wage rate should be set in the future, its report did not include any recommendation which would set a specific level for Ontario’s minimum wage.
During its public consultations, the Panel also received submissions suggesting it to recommend an inflation adjustment to the minimum wage applied retroactively to 2010, and tying the minimum wage rate to a low income threshold, though the Panel did not make a recommendation to the Ministry of Labour on either issue.
If you have any questions about minimum employment standards, or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.
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