If you're flat broke from the holidays, you won't have to be for much longer. The province's minimum wage is increasing at the start of next month, and that means many Ontario workers are going to start off the new year with a hell of a lot more extra dough.
On January 1st, the new general minimum wage will take effect, rising workers' hourly wages from $11.60 to $14. The change precedes another increase in 2019 when the hourly wage will increase to $15.
According to a statement by the province of Ontario, 55% of all retail workers will receive the pay rise, which will “help bring millions of people from the margins of the economy to a place where they are able to better provide for their families and get ahead.”
The wage increase comes as part of the highly anticipated labour reform bill which passed last month, and is included with several other changes being introduced by the Ontario government.
Other changes coming into affect this Monday include:
Ensuring workers are entitled to at least three weeks' vacation after five years with the same employer, bringing Ontario's vacation time in line with the national average
Expanding the 10 days per calendar year for personal emergency leave to employees in workplaces with fewer than 50 employees, with at least two paid days per year for employees who have been employed for at least a week
A new domestic or sexual violence leave of up to 10 individual days and up to 15 weeks of job protected leave; the first five days of leave in every calendar year would be paid
Increased family medical leave from 8 to 28 weeks per year
A new child death leave from any cause up to 104 weeks, and increased crime-related disappearance of a child leave from 52 to 104 weeks
Changes to make forming a union and reaching a first collective agreement easier
"Our plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs provides a minimum wage people can actually live on and modernizes our labour laws to address today’s world. Too many families struggle to get by on part-time or temporary work. Those working full-time can be living in poverty. This is unacceptable in Ontario. Our plan will help ensure everyone who works hard has the chance to reach their full potential and share in Ontario’s prosperity," Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour said.
What a way to start off the new year!