The Ontario government has taken a step to provide ease to the workers across the province. The minimum wage for different professions has now been officially increased. In effect from the 1st January 2022, the general minimum wage is now set up at $15 an hour. The decision has been taken as a part of the government’s program to rebalance the scale between the cost of living and minimum wage for employees.
As per the government, the decision is surely going to make things better and improve the overall economy. And according to the experts, it will also attract more workers from different parts of the world through the Ontario PNP program. While the step is being welcomed by all parties, here’s what you need to know about the pay increase for different professions. But first, have a look at the legal definition of what a minimum wage is.
What is a minimum wage?
The lowest wage that is paid to a worker per hour is known as the minimum wage. It’s a legally instructed hourly wage floor below which non-exempt workers can’t be hired or offered a job. In simpler words, a minimum wage is the lowest hourly amount an employer can pay to a worker to do a certain job. Accordingly, the Ontario PNP program legally abides by the minimum wage rules updated from time to time.
Type of workers that will get the benefit from the new pay increase are listed below:
- General minimum wage workers, for example, delivery drivers, bartenders, waiters, cooks, retail sales employees, etc.
- Liquor servers
- Students who are less than 18 years and work 28 hours or less per week during the school year or during the summer breaks.
- Homeworkers (People who work for businesses from their homes on a wage basis)
- Guides for hunting, fishing, and wilderness
Previous Minimum Wage
Before the announcement of the increased minimum wage, the following hourly rates were the official minimum wage for workers in different industries.
- General minimum wage workers – $14.35/hr.
- Liquor servers – $12.55/hr.
- Students less than 18 years of age who work – $13.50/hr.
- Homeworkers – $15.80/hr.
- Hunting, fishing, and wilderness guides – $71.75 when working less than five consecutive hours a day. And $143.55 when working five or more hours a day.
Increased Minimum Wage
From the first January 2022, the following minimum wage rates are in place in Ontario.
- General minimum wage workers – $15.00/hr.
- Liquor servers – $15.00/hr.
- Students under the age of 18 who work – $14.10/hr.
- Homeworkers – $16.50/hr.
- Hunting, fishing, and wilderness guides – $75.00 when working less than five consecutive hours a day. And $150.05 when working five or more hours a day.
Statements from the officials
- Doug Ford – Premier of Ontario
“As the cost of living continues to rise, our government will never stop working for workers, including by putting more money into their pockets.” He went on to say that Ontario’s workers have earned a raise, and they were finally getting what they deserve. By raising the wage, they are supporting hard-working Ontarians.
- Monte McNaughton – minister of labor, training, and skill development
As they move into the new year, McNaughton said that their government is changing the scales and putting more workers in the driver’s seat. “With the cost of living rising, this raise gives a hand up to the workers and families who need it most.”
- Peter Bethlenfalvy – minister of finance
The minister of finance said that the workers have been struggling to keep up with the cost of living. Hence they decided to raise the minimum wage. “Working for workers is just one part of our plan to Build Ontario and lay the foundation for jobs, prosperity, and growth.”
Experts have suggested that in 2022, a full-time worker receiving the minimum hourly wage will earn an extra $1,350 to his annual salary. This will improve the overall work environment in Ontario and will make it easy for foreign workers to manage things out. And for the same reason, the Ontario government is expecting to welcome more foreign employees to join their workforce through the Ontario PNP program. Just like the Alberta provincial nominee program, Ontario also has sizable foreign employees who live in the province as permanent residents. Likewise, the new minimum wage increase is supposed to make way for more permanent resident entries into the province.
So that was all you needed to know about the new minimum wage increment put in place by the Government of Ontario. By bringing the general minimum wage up to $15 an hour, the authorities have sent a positive message and a sense of trust to the workforce in the province.