On October 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Ontario will rise from $14.00 to $14.25 per hour. Minimum wage is simply the lowest amount per working hour that an employer can legally pay an employee in most jobs. To remind our readers, the last time the minimum wage was increased was back in 2018 when it rose to $14.00 per hour. However, that wage rate has remained the same for nearly two years. The current government has blocked a scheduled increase to the minimum wage at the time in Ontario.
This coming minimum wage increase applies to the bulk of employees but there are some exceptions. For instance, student minimum wage is lower and sits at $13.15 per hour. Student minimum wage will increase to $13.40 per hour on October 1, 2020.
This new minimum wage of $14.25 per hour will remain in place until September 2021. The minimum wage is set to increase again thereafter. It remains to be determined whether the Ontario government will intervene to keep the minimum wage increase at $14.25. As set out above, the current government has interfered before and blocked a scheduled increase to the minimum wage. It would not be especially surprising if the Ontario government moves again to block an increase especially given the tough times that employers have to undergo because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, the Ontario government has prevented employees from being able to claim statutory constructive dismissal due to reductions in wage, layoffs or drops in scheduled working hours due to the coronavirus.