At last, the long proposed minimum wage increase will soon come to fruition. According to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario will increase its provincial minimum wage to $15 per hour by January 1, 2019.
Although it’s not set to happen for quite a while, the good news, it seems, is that after that it’s implemented, it will increase every year with inflation, and rightfully so.
The premier went on to announced that equal pay will now be required for part-time workers who perform the same job duties as full-time workers, as well as several other changes to workforce rules. All employees will receive 10 personal emergency leave days per year, two of which will be fully paid by employers. After five years of working for an employer, employees will be entitled to three weeks of vacation, the CBC reports.
Ontario’s minimum wage is set at $11.40 currently, and is expected to increase to $11.60 in October. Ontario’s move to increase the minimum wage comes at the heels of a decision by the Alberta provincial government, which plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in October of 2018. Quebec also recently raised its minimum wage from $10.75 to $11.25 on May 1.
According to the CBC, Wynne’s decision regarding a minimum wage increase follow a report given to her government last week that included several workforce recommendations. Although the Changing Workplaces review didn’t specifically mention raising the minimum wage, Wynne maintains that the move will function to safeguard millions of vulnerable employees across the province. Furthermore, to address the concerns of critics, the premier said that the provincial economy is performing well enough to accommodate such a robust wage increase.
During her announcement, she added:
“People are working longer, jobs are less secure, benefits are harder to come by and protections are fewer and fewer,” said Wynne. “In a time of change like this, when the very nature of work is being transformed, we need to make certain that our workers are treated fairly.”