Ontarians who earn minimum wage have received a pay bump.
Labour and business groups are not impressed – for different reasons.
Effective Saturday, Jan. 1, the minimum wage jumped by 65 cents to $15 an hour.
“As the cost of living continues to rise, our government will never stop working for workers, including by putting more money into their pockets,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement. “Ontario’s workers deserve a raise, and today we’re delivering one. There’s no better way to support hard-working Ontarians right now than raising the minimum wage.”
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) isn’t buying it, and points to the fact the Ford government cancelled a move to $15-an-hour planned for Jan. 1 2019.
The OFL says offering the wage now will not have the same impact as it would have had three years earlier, pointing out that gas and home fuel, food products, public transit and housing prices rose significantly over that time.
The OFL and other labour groups are calling for a $20-an-hour minimum wage.
On the other side of the fence, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) finds nothing good about the timing of the pay hike.
The CFIB says the increase in labour costs comes at a time when employers are coping with pandemic-related lost revenue and back rent, supply chain issues, a large CPP hike and high hydro rates.
Liquor server rates will hit the restaurant and bar sector, says the CFIB, which is still reelin from pandemic measures. The CFIB says the liquor server wage is going up by 20 per cent at a time when the restaurant industry is struggling to survive COVID.
As of January 1, 2022, the following wages are in place in Ontario:
- General minimum wage workers are now earning $15.00 per hour, a raise from $14.35.
- Liquor servers have received a pay raise from $12.55 to $15.00 per hour.
- Students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session or work during a school break or summer holidays, had their pay raised from $13.50 to $14.10 per hour.
- Homeworkers (those who do paid work out of their own homes for employers) had their pay raised from $15.80 to $16.50 per hour.
- Hunting, fishing and wilderness guides had their pay raised from $71.75 to $75.00 when working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $143.55 to $150.05 when working five or more hours in a day.