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Ontario to increase minimum wage to $15/hour

Ontario is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, ensuring equal pay for part-time workers, and introducing paid sick days.

Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement Tuesday morning as part of ‘Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs’.

A government-commissioned report was released last week that contained 173 recommendations to address precarious work. The Changing Workplaces review reports approximately one-third of Ontario’s 6.6 million workers are vulnerable due to new technologies, a shrinking manufacturing sector and fewer union jobs.

About 30 per cent of Ontario workers currently earn less than $15 per hour. Ontario’s general minimum wage will raise to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and then to $15 on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation.

Workers will also get equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal work doing the same job as full-time employees; and equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as permanent employees at the agencies’ client companies.

Personal emergency leave will be expanded to include an across-the-board minimum of at least two paid days per year for all workers.

Vacation time will be brought into line with the national average by ensuring at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with a company.

Making employee scheduling fairer, will include requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time.

To enforce the changes, the province will hire up to 175 more employment standards officers and launch a program to educate both employees and small and medium-sized businesses about their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act.

In 2016, the median hourly wage was $13 for part-time workers and $24.73 for full-time workers. Over the past 30 years, part-time work has grown to represent nearly 20 per cent of total employment.

Currently, half of the workers in Ontario earning less than $15 per hour are between the ages of 25 and 64, and the majority are women.

More than a quarter of Ontario workers would receive a pay hike through the proposed increase to the minimum wage.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Gary Mooney says:

    Studies show that even large percentage increases in the minimum wage don’t affect employment very much. Here’s a good article from the CBC:

    Business owners have several choices to deal with increased costs:
    * Reduce the number of employees, or their hours.
    * Increase prices — more feasible when every business is affected.
    * Accept lower profits.
    * Automate some functions.

    I think that it’s unfair to expect the lowest paid workers to subsidize a business.

  2. james says:

    Interesting scenario: Small Business Owner states that in order to stay viable, previously there has been set aside X% of gross to cover wages. This covered Y# of workers.
    Now same X% must cover exactly same wages, but with the increase of minimum wage, which of you workers want to receive the minimum wage increase which will be allocated to Y – minus fired workers#?
    To make up difference, the surviving # workers must work extra hours.
    If I have not gotten this scenario too convoluted, let’s use some real numbers in our hypothetical example:
    Originally 20 workers took home $13/hour = $260/hour if this business was to remain viable.
    Now for the same $260/hour, 17 workers will pony up to their jobs >>>> don’t let the door slap the butts of the 3 laid-off workers on their way to cast their purchased votes for K. Wynne, on your way to the food bank.

  3. robert says:

    Another slide towards making Ontario a difficult place to make a go of things. $3.60 raise for some that need it for sure, but of course there is already collective bargaining talk about a “rising tide raising all ships”, if anyone thinks that this will not put upward pressure on all labour costs they are dreaming. Minimum wage jobs were never intended to raise a family, one downside is removing the incentive to doing more to move to a higher paying job. Not every business can pass on the costs. Your product has to compete with imports from neighboring provinces or further afield. Will be interesting to see what the after effects are from this change.

  4. moi says:

    By the time this comes into effect it will be no better then what the current min. wage is now. Rents are too high let alone having to pay unreal costs for hydro.

  5. Chris Keen says:

    Not mention that these increases will provide more tax dollars for Wynne to waste than ever before. (There’s always a hidden side to attempted vote buying.)

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