Ontario Increases Minimum Wage

On June 1, 2014, the general minimum wage in Ontario became C$11 per hour. This is reflected in amendments to Regulation 285/01 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000. The regulation also provides the minimum wage rates for students, liquor servers, homeworkers and hunting/fishing guides, which also increased effective June 1, 2014.

What Happens When the Minimum Wage Changes?

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.

Other Provincial Minimum Wage Increases in 2014

Based on announced changes, several other provinces will be increasing, or have already increased, their general minimum wage rate in 2014 as follows:

  • Alberta: General minimum wage will increase to C$10.20 per hour on September 1, 2014
  • Manitoba: General minimum wage will increase to C$10.70 on October 1, 2014
  • Newfoundland & Labrador: General minimum wage will increase to C$10.25 on October 1, 2014 and to C$10.50 on October 1, 2015
  • Nova Scotia: General minimum wage increased to C$10.40 on April 1, 2014, while the inexperienced rate increased to C$9.90
  • Prince Edward Island: General minimum wage increased to C$10.20 on June 1, 2014 and will increase to C$10.35 on October 1, 2014
  • Quebec: General minimum wage increased to C$10.35 on May 1, 2014
  • Saskatchewan: General minimum wage will increase to C$10.20 on October 1, 2014

As with Ontario, while the general minimum wage rate applies to most employees, there may be job-specific exemptions and/or special rules or rates for certain industries and job categories in each of these provinces


Ontario’s New Health and Safety Awareness Training

As discussed in our January 2014 Blakes Bulletin: Ontario Employers: Things to Watch in 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour has introduced mandatory health and safety awareness training under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) effective July 1, 2014. This training is required for all workers and supervisors in Ontario who are subject to the OHSA. Employers must ensure that the training they provide covers the necessary content, including, for example, the duties and rights of workers, employers and supervisors under the OHSA; common workplace hazards and occupational illnesses; and the role of joint health and safety committees and representatives.