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If passed, minimum wage will be $15 an hour – including servers

The Ontario government will introduce legislation that, if passed, would raise the general minimum wage from $14.35 to $15 per hour effective Jan. 1, 2022. A full-time worker making the general minimum wage could see an annual earnings increase of $1,350 in 2022 under the proposed legislation.

Under the proposed changes, the special minimum wage rate for liquor servers would be eliminated and they would be entitled to the general minimum wage. Students under 18, homeworkers and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides would also see an increase in their special minimum wage rates.

The industries employing the most minimum wage earners are accommodation and food services, and retail trade. Nearly 37 per cent of workers at or below the proposed general minimum wage of $15 per hour are in retail trade and almost 24 per cent are in accommodation and food services.

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.”

Liquor servers have previously received below the general minimum wage, based on the belief customer tipping can make up the difference. However, many of these workers have increasingly seen their tips pooled and redistributed among many staff, making it harder for them to make ends meet. If the legislation is passed, liquor servers would be treated more fairly and see an unprecedented 19.5 per cent increase in their minimum hourly wage, as it changes from $12.55 per hour to the harmonized $15 per hour minimum wage.

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 also proposed to increase:

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 for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $150.05 for working five or more hours in a day.

The government expects to release its COVID-19 recovery and prosperity in the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review on Nov. 4.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    While I am happy to see this much deserved raise approved by the Ford government, it is embarrassing to know that it is coming 4 years too late. The same people who are making such a wage are the same people who were often deemed to be providing essential services during the pandemic. It was even more disgraceful that organizations like the Ontario Chamber of Commerce lobbied hard, prior to the last election, not to improve minimum wage.

    Anyone thinking that this meager increase in 2021 is going to attract people to work for this hourly wage will be greatly disappointed.

  2. SM says:

    This might be great news if it wasn’t for the fact that this same government cancelled the increase to a $15 minimum wage after taking power.

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