As many already know there has been lots of talk of the minimum wage in Canada and changes that are soon set to come our way.  But what does it mean really?

The Ontario government recent proposal to amend the province’s employment standards act and labour laws (as part of its Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017) centres around the reforms of minimum wage.  It is set to rise gradually from the current $11.60 per hour to $14 per hour as of January 2018, and then to $15 per hour in January 2019. But, what does that kind of increase mean for the Canadian job market? Let’s take a look…

So What is Minimum Wage Exactly and What Are the Pros?

Minimum wage is the lowest hourly wage rate an employer is required to pay its employees, regardless of whether they work full time or part time, in a casual job, or if they’re working by the hour or in a salaried position.

Some employees, like students under 18 and servers in a bar or restaurant, are exempt from the minimum wage; both tend to earn less than the lowest cut-off, but in the case of servers that difference is often made up or even topped by tips. The lower minimum wages for these employees will also rise under the proposed changes, even if it remains below the general minimum wage.

So, if you’re in a job that currently earns minimum wage, you should see more money in your bank account if the Bill (148),  passes, with a gradual change set to keep step with inflation. That’s good news for those workers and lots of people also believe that this change will also grow the economy because more people will have more money to spend on things.

Why Are Some People NOT for Minimum Wage Changes?

The proposed changes are not supported by everyone. There have been lots of reports that show certain business groups representing the restaurant and retail industries, and others, have warned that the increased costs of minimum wage will have to be passed on elsewhere…like to the customer. One of the main problems they feel is that the increase happens in such a short timeframe that employers will be hit with absorbing a  32 per cent wage increase in less than 18 months. Their solution? Change things up at a slower pace.

TD Bank, has even cautioned that while increasing the minimum wage could be good for the province’s economy overall, the fast speed of implementation could mean the loss of 90,000 jobs. The bank has recommended extending the phase-in period by two years.

The Province’s Response to Controversy on Minimum Wage

Premier Kathleen Wynne told the Toronto Star last month that there’s no time to lose for the province and it was unacceptable for people with full-time employment to rely on food banks to feed their families.

In other words the extended phase-in suggestion was not embraced. To help small businesses, which may not have large enough revenues to cover such a quick pay increase, the government is instead looking at a subsidy program. This would provide a tax break to help offset the boost in the minimum wage.

BOTTOM LINE: Either way, companies will have no choice but to comply once the proposal becomes law and change is on the way.  What do you think about minimum wage change.  Good or bad? For more information click the link:

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