On June 1, 2014 the minimum wage in Ontario will increase from $10.25 to $11 per hour.   Effective 2015, increases reflecting the Consumer Price Index will be announced annually each April and take effect the following October.

The general minimum wage of $11 per hour is payable to all workers, with certain exceptions: alcohol and food servers will see their rate increase to $ 9.55;  homeworkers (persons who perform work in their own homes) must be paid a minimum of $12.10 per hour, a rise of almost one dollar.   Students under age 18 working less than 28 hours per week will see their rate go from $ 9.60 to $ 10.30 per hour.    Employers are still permitted to deduct prescribed amounts when they provide room and board. 

Regarding implementation of the new rates, Ontario says:

If the minimum wage rate changes during a pay period, the pay period will be treated as if it were two separate pay periods and the employee will be entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies in each of those periods.

Employers which fail to pay the applicable minimum wage will be in breach of the Province’s Employment Standards Act 2000., which is enforced by the Ministry of Labour.  It is unlawful for employers and workers to contract-out of the ESA.  Violations of the Act can result in orders to pay owed wages, administrative fees and in some instances, prosecution. 

These changes follow the advice of Ontario’s Minimum Wage Advisory Panel.  The Panel’s report is at http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pdf/mwap_report.pdf