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What is Minimum Wage in Ontario (and Is It Enough?)

by | Dec 25, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

Employees are turning towards freelance and remote gigs now more than ever, but there are also more small businesses being developed on top of that. The minimum wage that people in Ontario experience is lackluster to say the least, and that’s mainly due to the living costs that come with the province.

Ontario is certainly a wonderful place to start your career, raise a family, and eventually grow old, but that idea seems further and further out of reach with each passing year. This article will (hopefully) shed some light on why properly compensating your employees is important, especially now more than ever.

What is the Minimum Wage in Ontario?

As of December 2021, the minimum wage in Ontario is $14.35 per hour. This doesn’t account for the fact that most of the United States is sitting at $15 per hour and the Canadian dollar is weaker in comparison. Some people may think that $14.35 is laughable, while others would be more than happy to get their hands on that; it all depends on where you live in Canada.

Is It Enough for Ontario Residents?

Ontario is a massive province, which means there are going to be locations further North that will offer cheap property or living costs (when you exclude traveling for groceries or lack of supplies). Ontario residents who live in Toronto however, have something else to worry about entirely – you would need an average living wage of $22.08 to live alone in Toronto.

It’s important to note that living wage doesn’t account for your debt repayments, savings, homeownership, education funds, or any other kind of savings account (outside of a minimal amount they call a safety net).

If you were to work a regular 40-hour week, the extra $7.73 (when compared to minimum wage) is an additional $16,078 CAD annually. That’s how much more you would need to make if you wanted to live in Toronto, minimum wage itself isn’t even close to enough!

An Increase On the Horizon

Thankfully, it seems as if the Ontario government is finally taking steps to provide people with a higher minimum wage. Starting on January 1st, 2022, minimum wage will start at $15 per hour regardless of what you’re doing. This legislation would also remove the minimum wage for liquor servers (currently at $12.55 per hour) and entitle them to the new general wage. Some of the other changes include:

  • Students (Under 18, 28-hours a week or less during school or breaks) – $14.10 per hour
  • Remote Workers (Employers who pay people to work from home) – $16.50 per hour
  • Hunting/Fishing Guides – $75 per hour (less than five consecutive hours in a day) or $105.05 (more than five consecutive hours in a day)

Employee Engagement Through Proper Compensation/Scheduling

Employees are always going to thrive when they have proper schedules in place, but that will go even further when you give them the proper compensation. Underpaying employees is something that shady business owners rely on to turn an even larger profit, but it’s something that we have to stop as soon as possible!

Employee engagement is the key to your success as a business owner, and by effectively scheduling your employees and ensuring they are compensated accordingly, you’ll be building a work culture that they enjoy being a part of!

Conclusion: Minimum Wage Isn’t Enough for Most Employees in Ontario (For Now!)

Even with the most recent boost to $15, it’s still a struggle to get by on minimum wage. People are turning  towards finding roomates more than ever, and there is a staggering number of working adults returning home to live with their parents as a result. When you can work 40-hours a week and still not afford to live by yourself, something might need to change!

If you’re a business owner or manager reading this and you’re looking over annual salaries or hourly rates, be sure to keep employee engagement in mind before you slap a “minimum wage sticker” on anybody.

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