Good news, workers! Ontario’s minimum wage is increasing next week. Starting October 1, the province's hourly pay will rise from $14.00 to $14.25 an hour.
This change will remain in effect until September 30, 2021, after which it may be subject to increase again.
There are a few exceptions to this increase, though.
Students' minimum wage will increase from $13.15 to $13.40 per hour. This applies to students who are minors and who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session, or are working during a school break or summer holidays.
The liquor servers' wages will increase from $12.20 to $12.45 per hour.
Liquor servers are paid under standard minimum wage because they “regularly receive tips or other gratuities as a part of their work,” according to the provincial government.
Homeworkers, or employees who do paid work in their own homes, will get bumped from $15.40 to $15.70 per hour.
An example of a homeworker would be someone who sews clothes in their home or an employee who works for a call centre from home.
If the increase occurs partway through your pay period, your employer is required to treat the pay period as two separate ones. Meaning you will be entitled to the minimum wage that applies in each of those periods.
The highest minimum wage in Canada is currently in Nunavut, which sits at $16.00 an hour, according to CBC. Although the cost of living in the territories is considerably higher.
When it comes to the southern provinces, only Alberta and British Columbia have higher minimum wages than Ontario.
A recent study showed that, in many Ontario towns, the living wage is much higher than the minimum wage.
According to Ontario’s Living Wage Network (OLWN), "the living wage reflects what people need to earn to cover the actual costs of living in their community."
Toronto leads Ontario as the city with the highest living wage at $22.18 per hour. Ouch.