The Ontario government announced today that it plans to introduce legislation that, if passed, would raise the general minimum wage from $14.35 to $15.00 per hour effective January 1, 2022. Alcohol servers who receive tips would also be entitled to the general minimum wage instead of the lower, special minimum wage rate they receive now. Students under 18, homeworkers, and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides would see an increase in their special minimum wage rates.
Details were shared today by Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance.
“Ontario’s workers have been the unsung heroes of this pandemic, as they’ve stocked shelves, kept our supply chain moving and helped so many of us enjoy a meal among family and friends at a local restaurant,” said Premier Doug Ford. “When we asked labour leaders what their priorities were, increasing the minimum wage was at the top of the list.”
Because they receive tips, people who serve alcohol have received a lower minimum wage. If the legislation is passed, liquor servers would see a 19.5 per cent increase in their minimum hourly wage, from $12.55 per hour to the harmonized $15 per hour minimum wage.
The Ontario government said it is introducing the legislation as the cost of living has increased considerably over the past several months, but wages for many have not kept pace.
Special minimum wage rates are proposed to increase as follows:
- Students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session, or work during a school break or summer holidays, would see an increase from $13.50 to $14.10 an hour.
- Homeworkers (those who do paid work out of their own homes for employers) would see an increase from $15.80 an hour to $16.50 an hour.
- Hunting and fishing guides currently have a minimum rate of $71.75 for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $143.55 for working five or more hours in a day. Their new proposed rate would be $75.00 for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $150.05 for working five or more hours in a day.
The government will release the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review on November 4.
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