On January 30, 2014, the Ontario government announced there will be an increase in the general minimum wage rate from $10.25 to $11 per hour effective June 1, 2014. This 75-cent boost will reflect the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since the last minimum wage increase in 2010 and will place Ontario and Nunavut in the lead for having the highest wage rate in Canada.

The minimum wage for students, liquor servers, hunting and fishing guides and homeworkers will also increase on June 1, 2014. A list of these increased minimum wages is posted on the Ministry of Labour’s website.

In addition, the Ontario government also announced its intention to introduce new legislation that would link future minimum wage increases to the CPI if passed. We will provide a further update if this becomes law. In the interim, any employers in Ontario paying employees at the current minimum wage rate should take steps to ensure their payroll records are updated effective June 1, 2014, to reflect the increased minimum wage rate of $11 per hour and consider whether this increase in labour costs will affect scheduling or staffing needs.