Ontario Minimum Wage 2021 vs other Provincial/Territorial Minimum Wages

Wondering what the Ontario minimum wage is in 2021? Your wonder ends here.

Minimum wages in Canada are determined by each province and territory, making them different.

Canada’s first minimum wage rates were established in the early 20th century with a focus on women and children.

In 1918, British Columbia and Manitoba led the establishment of minimum wage laws in Canada. In 1920, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia did the same.

Subsequently, other provinces and territories followed suit, with each setting its minimum wage and employee rights and working conditions etc.

However, provincial and territorial minimum wage rates in Canada are not fixed. They are adjusted from time to time to reflect inflation and employers’ working conditions.

Here I discuss in detail the Ontario minimum wage 2021 and other provincial/territorial minimum wages in Canada.

What is a Minimum Wage?

This refers to the lowest pay rate that an employer is required to pay their worker.

Minimum wage aims to address unfair treatment of workers, protect workers’ rights, eliminate poverty, and limit the population of low-paying jobs.

Thus, a minimum wage applies to both employees working full-time, part-time, or casual.

However, some workers are exempted from the general minimum wage due to their working conditions and commitment.

Subsequently. you will learn about the general and special Ontario minimum wage 2021 and other provincial/territorial minimum wages in Canada.

What is the Minimum Wage in Canada?

As mentioned earlier, each province/territory in Canada has its own minimum wage legislation that dictates its minimum wage rate.

However, just recently, the federal government of Canada set its minimum wage at $15 per hour.

This new development was recommended by the Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards in 2019 and will come into effect on December 29, 2021,

According to the federal government, the federal-standing minimum wage was also prompted by the impact of low-wage workers on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, it is in line with the recent federal regulations that aim to guide private-sector employees to work based on 21st-century practices.

The federal government minimum wage means that the earnings of federal workers in Canada will be different from those of provincial/territorial workers.

Before now, both federal and provincial/territorial workers’ earnings were based on the minimum wage set by their provinces or territories.

Federal government workers in Canada include federal public servants and workers in federally regulated industries.

What is the Highest Minimum Wage in Canada?

As of the time of writing this post, the highest minimum wage in Canada is $16 per hour, which is the minimum wage of Nunavut territory (from April 1, 2020, to date).

After the Nunavut minimum wage in Canada, the following highest minimum wages are British Columbia ($15.20 per hour) and Alberta ($15.00 per hour) minimum wages.

However, when the federal government rolls out its minimum wage by December 2021, it will be equal with Alberta’s, that’s $15.00 per hour.

What is the Lowest Minimum Wage in Canada?

Saskatchewan has the lowest minimum wage in Canada, which is $11.45 per hour. This has been in effect from October 1, 2020, to date.

However, Saskatchewan usually adjusts its minimum wage every October 1 according to the Consumer price index.

So by October 1, 2021, it aims to increase its minimum wage from $11.45 to $11.81 per hour.

The following provinces with the lowest minimum wage in Canada after Saskatchewan are New Brunswick ($11.75 per hour) and Manitoba ($11.90 per hour).

New Brunswick minimum wage is adjusted every April 1 according to the Consumer Price Index.

On the other hand, the Manitoba minimum wage is adjusted every October 1 according to the current inflation rate.

So on October 1, 2021, Manitoba minimum wage will increase from $11.90 to $11.95 let hour on October 1, 2021.

What is Ontario Minimum Wage 2021?

Ontario minimum wage 2021 is $14.25 per hour. This is the current minimum amount Ontario employers are required by law to pay their workers per hour.

However, there will be a 10 cent increase on October 1, 2021, based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index. This will bring the Ontario minimum wage to $14.35 per hour.

Furthermore, the Ontario minimum wage comprises general and special minimum wage given to different workers. To this, we now turn.

Past and Current Ontario Minimum Wage

Here is Ontario past and current general and specialized minimum wages:

Type of Minimum WageJanuary 1, 2018, to September 30, 2020October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022
General minimum wage$14.00$14.25$14.35
Student minimum wage$13.15$13.40$13.50
Liquor servers minimum wage$12.20$12.45$12.55
Hunting and fishing guides minimum wage$70.00 for working below five consecutive hours per day.

$140.00 for working within five consecutive or non-consecutive five hours per day.

$71.30 for working below five consecutive hours per day.

$142.60 for working within five consecutive or non-consecutive five hours per day.

$71.75 for working below five consecutive hours per day.

$143.55 for working within five consecutive or non-consecutive five hours per day.

Homeworkers wage$15.40$15.70$15.80
Wilderness guides minimum wage(Beginning from June 3, 2019

$70.00 for working below five consecutive hours per day.

$140.00 for working within five consecutive or non-consecutive five hours per day.

$71.30 for working below five consecutive hours per day.

$142.60

for working within five consecutive or non-consecutive five hours per day.

$71.75 for working below five consecutive hours per day.

$143.55 for working within five consecutive or non-consecutive five hours per day.

Source: Ontario.ca

Ontario Specialized/Exempted Minimum Wage

The following are Ontario’s specialized or exempted minimum wage from the general minimum wage.

Student Wage Ontario

This exemption applies to students below 18 years working within or below 28 hours a week while on school or break.

Liquor Servers Minimum Wage

This exemption applies to workers that directly serve liquor to people as part of their job responsibilities.

Hunting and Fishing Guides, Wilderness Guides Minimum Wage

Hunting and fishing workers are also exempted from the Ontario general minimum wage. They are paid according to the number of hours they spend on their job.

Thus, these workers receive a minimum wage for working below five consecutive hours a day.

However, they can earn much by working five hours or more hours a day. This is without regard to whether the hours are consecutive or not.

Wilderness Guides Minimum Wage

This exemption applies to workers that help people in carrying out wilderness-related activities such as:

  • Hiking
  • Back-country skiing
  • Canoeing,
  • Snowshoeing
  • Rafting
  • Kayaking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Horseback riding
  • Survival training
  • Rock climbing

However, this exemption doesn’t cover hunting and fishing guides and students below 18 years working within or less than 28 hours a week while on school or break.

Homeworkers Minimum Wage

This exemption applies to homeworkers that perform paid tasks. This includes tailoring, answering calls, or writing etc.

Furthermore, under this exemption, students, whether 18 or above, are also entitled to homeworkers minimum wage.

READ MORE: Top 25 Cheapest Places to Live in Canada

Ontario Minimum Wage 2021 for Employees Who Earn Commission

Whether an employee’s wage is based on commission entirely or partially, it can’t be less than the Ontario minimum wage 2021 for every hour worked.

For example, suppose you worked for 40 hours, and you were paid a commission of $300, the minimum wage applicable to you is $14.35 per hour.

Thus, $14.35 x 40 = $574. This implies that your employer is owing to you $274.

However, exemptions apply to some people that earn commission on particular industries or jobs.

How Room and Board Impacts Minimum Wage in Ontario

Employers in Ontario are expected to consider the provision of room and board (meals) when determining if they have paid employees the applicable minimum wage.

So if the employee has been provided with meals and has occupied the room, the room and board will be regarded as wages.

Here are the amounts an employer is expected to pay a worker for room and board or both:

Weekly Payment ForAmounts
Room$31.70 for private

$15.85 for non-private

$0.00 for non-private (domestic workers only)

Meals$2.55 per meal

$53.55 weekly maximum

Rooms and meals$85.25 for a private room

$69.40 for non-private

$53.55 non-private (domestic workers only)

Harvest workers housing$99.35 for serviced housing

$73.30 for unserviced housing

Source: Ontario.ca

What is the 3 Hour Rule in Ontario?

The Ontario 3 hour rule instructs that a worker that often works more than three hours a day must be paid the highest of the following amounts if they are expected to work but do not work up to three hours:

  • a pay rate equivalent to their usual three hours, or
  • the employee’s work earnings and wage per the standard wage of the rest three hours.

For example, if you work under $13 per hour but worked only two hours in a day, you’re entitled to $13 multiplied by the two hours you worked plus one hour of your usual rate ($13).

So your total earnings will be $39. That’s $13 + $13 (the hours you worked) + $13 (your  usual rate). That’s the three-hour rule.

However, this rule doesn’t apply to:

  • Those working on three hours shift or below.
  • Employers that can’t manage employees who are unable to work for at least three hours.

Finally, this rule also applies to students. But exception applies to students who are not wilderness guides worker under:

  • Children’s camp
  • Charity-based recreational program or
  • As instructors or supervisors to children

Future Minimum Wage in Ontario

In 2020, the Ontario government started adjusting its minimum wage rates every October 1.

Thus, for 2021, the Ontario minimum wage will increase from $14.25 to $14.35 on October 1, based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index.

Furthermore, an employee will be entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies for both pay periods if the minimum wage rate occurs partway through the pay period.

What are Other Provincial/Territorial Minimum Wages in Canada?

Now that you know about the Ontario minimum wage 2021, here I present you the other provincial and territorial minimum wages in Canada:

Alberta Minimum Wage 2021$15.00 per hour
Minimum Wage Manitoba 2021$11.90 per hour
Saskatchewan Minimum Wage 2021$11.45 per hour
Nova Scotia Minimum Wage 2021$12.95 per hour
Minimum Wage BC 2021$15.20 per hour
Northwest Territories Minimum Wage 2021$13.46 per hour
Newfoundland and Labrador Minimum Wage 2021$12.50 per hour
Yukon Minimum Wage 2021$13.85 per hour
Minimum Wage Quebec 2021$13.50 per hour
Prince Edward Island Minimum Wage 2021$13.00 per hour
New Brunswick Minimum Wage 2021$11.75 per hour

 

As you can see, each province/territory has a varying minimum wage compared to Ontario minimum wage 2021.

However, these minimum wage rates change annually to reflect the current working conditions of workers and inflation in Canada.

READ MORE: How Much Do I Need to Retire in Canada?

Final Thoughts on Ontario Minimum Wage 2021

Ontario minimum wage 2021 is one of the series minimum wages of Ontario starting from 1920.

Compared to other provincial and territorial minimum wages in Canada, you can see that the Ontario minimum wage 2021 is neither among the lowest nor the highest minimum wage in the country.

Notwithstanding, there has been a consistent increase to improve the working conditions of Ontario workers.

Accordingly, the Ontario minimum wage will increase on October 1, 2021, to reflect the Ontario Consumer Price Index.

So let me know your thoughts about the Ontario minimum wage 2021 in the comment section.

FAQs on Ontario Minimum Wage 2021

Is Minimum Wage Going Up in 2021 Ontario?

Yes. In 2020, the Ontario government set October 1 as the annual date of increasing its minimum wage.

So the Ontario minimum wage will increase to $14.35 from $14.25 on October 1, 2021, based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index.

Do I Get Paid if My Shift is Cancelled Ontario?

Yes. Employers in Ontario are required to pay three-hour compensation to their employees for scheduled or on-call cancelled shifts.

How Many Hours Can You Work in a Day Ontario?

Ontarians are required to work for a maximum of eight hours per day. However, you can exceed this limit through a written agreement between you and your employer.

Are 15 Minute Breaks Required By Law in Ontario?

No, the Employment Standards Act (ESA) in Ontario instructs employees to provide a half-hour meal break per five hours of work.

However, you can decide to split the 30 minutes break into two 15-minutes. But it must be through a verbal or written agreement with your employer.

So the 15-minutes breaks are optional, not compulsory in Ontario.

Finally, if you’ve more questions about the Ontario minimum wage 2021, let me know in the comment section.

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