Canadian Minimum Wage Compliance Focuses on Provinces


Canada Map

Employers in the U.S. must be aware of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s federal minimum wage rate, currently $7.25 an hour, and the wage rates in states where they have employees.

Many states and localities, including California, New York and the District of Columbia, increased or are to increase their minimum wage rates in 2016.

Unlike in the U.S., employers with workers in Canada must follow the minimum wage rates set by the country’s 10 provinces and three territories because Canada’s federal government does not have a minimum wage rate. Provinces and territories have the responsibility to set minimum wage rates and the federal government’s rate is aligned with the minimum wage in each jurisdiction.

Employees who work for federally regulated companies, such as banks or airlines, are subject to the minimum rate of the province or territory where they usually are employed.

Four provinces and two territories have raised their minimum wages so far this year:

•New Brunswick increased its minimum wage to C$10.65 from C$10.30, effective April 1.

•Nova Scotia increased its minimum wage for experienced workers to C$10.70 from C$10.60, effective April 1.

•Nunavut increased its minimum wage to C$13.00 from C$11.00, effective April 1. Nunavut has the highest minimum wage of any province or territory.

•Prince Edward Island increased its minimum wage to C$10.75 from C$10.50, effective June 1.

•Quebec increased its general minimum wage to C$10.75 from C$10.55, effective May 1.

•Yukon increased its minimum wage to C$11.07 from C$10.86, effective April 1.

British Columbia is to increase its general minimum wage to C$10.85 from C$10.45 on Sept. 1, Ontario is to increase its general minimum wage to C$11.40 from C$11.25 on Oct. 1 and Prince Edward Island is to increase its minimum wage to C$11.00 on Oct. 1.

The Most Active Jurisdictions

Nova Scotia has increased its minimum wage every year since 2005, while Yukon has increased its minimum wage every year since 2006, according to a Canadian government minimum wage website.

Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec have increased their minimum wages every year since 2014, the website said.

Special Rates

Inexperienced workers in Nova Scotia are paid at a rate of at least C$10.20 an hour. An inexperienced employee is one who has been employed in his or her current job for fewer than three months.

Students younger than 18 years old who work up to 28 hours a week are paid at a rate of at least C$10.55 an hour in Ontario.

Employees receiving tips in Quebec are paid at a rate of at least C$9.20 an hour.

New Brunswick has special minimum wage rates for certain categories of employees in government construction work and counsellors and program staff at residential summer camps.

At the time of writing, one Canadian dollar is equivalent to $0.77.

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