Ontario’s New Minimum Wage and proposed Bill 165

Bill 165 – Fair Minimum Wage Act, 2014

By Leanne E. Standryk

Effective June 1, 2014, the general minimum wage in Ontario will increase from $10.25 to $11.00 per hour.

The increase of 75 cents per hour will account for inflation since 2010, at which time the minimum wage was frozen at $10.25.  The increase will result in Ontario and Nunavut having the highest minimum wage in Canada.  The student minimum wage will also increase from $9.60 to $10.30 per hour.  You may access the Ministry of Labour’s Minimum wage chart.

 

The Government’s announcement was not unexpected, especially considering a legislative proposal aimed at “vulnerable workers”.

Further to the Provincial Government’s commitment to tie future minimum wage increases to the province’s Consumer Price Index, Bill 165 the Fair Minimum Wage Act, 2014 was introduced on February 26, 2014.  Bill 165 would amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and create a new section 23.1 that provides a framework to determine minimum wage. If passed, minimum wage adjustments occurring after October 1, 2015 would be tied to Ontario’s Consumer Price Index (“CPI”).  It is proposed that any increase to the general minimum wage and special categories would be announced by April 1 of every year and new wage rates would apply effective October 1 of that year.

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