As a result of amendments to the Employment Standards Act,
2000 ("ESA") last year, on October 1, 2015, the
general minimum wage in Ontario will increase from $11 to $11.25
per hour. Industry-specific minimum wages for liquor servers,
homeworkers, students, and hunters/fishers are also set
Since Ontario's minimum wage is now tied to the Consumer
Price Index ("CPI"), this represents the first of what
will generally be annual increases to the minimum wage. Decreases
to the CPI will not, however, result in a corresponding reduction
to the minimum wage. On April 1 each year, the new minimum wage
rates will be released and will come into force the following
While these annual increases may not be welcomed by many
employers, the upside is that minimum wage rate increases will be
predictable as opposed to the ad hoc increases we have
seen in the past.
In addition, employers should bear in mind that certain
categories of employees will remain exempt from the minimum wage
rules under the ESA altogether, including many professional
employees, students in training for these professions, and certain
types of commission-based salespersons, to name a few.
To review the Ontario Ministry of Labour's news release on
these changes, click here.
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