Minimum Wage Rates and Overtime Rules in Canada

Minimum wage rates and overtime rules in Canada
 Courtesy Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Courtesy Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Minimum wage is the lowest amount you can pay an employee per hour of work. This amount is set by the government of the relevant jurisdiction or by the federal government when it comes to federally regulated businesses.

 

Minimum wage increases typically happen once or twice a year and are often tied to inflation and the Consumer Price Index.

 

Overtime rates are the minimum amount you must pay an employee (regardless of whether they are salaried or on an hourly wage) if they work more than a set (by law) number of hours during a week, or in some jurisdictions during a day. There are exemptions for certain industries in some jurisdictions.

 
Federally regulated industries

The federal minimum wage is currently $15.55 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $16.65 per hour as of April 1, 2023.

 

This minimum wage applies to all business that are federally regulated.

 

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular wage for all hours worked over 8 in a day or 40 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

 

More information on minimum wage and overtime can be found on the government site.

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Alberta

The minimum wage in Alberta is currently $15.00 per hour. 

For students under 18, the minimum wage is $13.00 for the first 28 hours they work in a week. Beyond 28 hours, the student must be paid $15 per hour. 

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular rate for all hours worked over 8 in a day or 44 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime can be found on the government site. 

British Columbia

The minimum wage in British Columbia is currently $15.65 per hour.

The minimum daily overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular pay for any hours worked over 8 in a day, up to 12 hours. After 12 hours the overtime rate is double the employee’s regular pay. This is in effect even if the employee does not work over 40 hours in the week. 

The minimum weekly overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for any hours over 40 works in a week, even if the employee did not work more than 8 hours in a day. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime is available on the government site. 

Manitoba

The minimum wage in Manitoba is currently $13.50 per hour.

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular rate. Overtime is paid after 8 hours worked in one day, or 40 hours worked in one week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime, including exemptions, is available on the government site. 

New Brunswick

The minimum wage in New Brunswick is currently $13.75 per hour.  The minimum wage will increase to $14.75 on April 1, 2023.

The minimum overtime wage rate is one and a half times the minimum wage for any hours worked over 44 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime can be found on the government site. 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador is currently $13.70 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $14.50 per hour as of April 1, 2023.  

The minimum overtime wage rate is one and a half times the minimum wage for any hours worked over 40 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime can be found on the government site. 

Northwest Territories 

The minimum wage in the Northwest Territories is currently $15.20 per hour. 

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular wage for any hours worked over 8 in a day, or over 40 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime can be found on the government site. 

Nova Scotia 

The minimum wage in Nova Scotia is currently $13.60 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $14.50 per hour as of April 1, 2023.  

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular wage for any hours over 48 worked in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime can be found on the government site. 

Nunavut

The minimum wage in Nunavut is currently $16.00 per hour. 

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular wage for any hours over 8 in a day or 40 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime can be found on the government site.

Ontario

The minimum wage in Ontario is currently $15.50 per hour. The student minimum wage is $14.60 per hour. 

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked above 44 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime, including exemptions, can be found on the government site.

Prince Edward Island

The minimum wage in Prince Edward Island is currently $14.50 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $15.00 per hour on October 1, 2023.

The minimum overtime wage rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular wage for hours worked above 48 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime, including exemptions, can be found on the government site.

Quebec

The minimum wage in Quebec is currently $14.25 per hour. 

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the worker’s regular rate for hours worked above 40 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime, including exemptions, can be found on the government site.

Saskatchewan

The minimum wage in Saskatchewan is currently $13.00 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour on October 1, 2023, and to $15.00 per hour on October 1, 2024.

The minimum overtime rate is one and a half times the employees regular wage for hours worked above 40 in a week. Employees who are scheduled to work 8 hours in a day receive overtime for hours worked above 8 in a day. Employees scheduled to work 10 hours a day receive overtime for working above 10 hours in a day. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime, including exemptions, can be found on the government site. 

Yukon

The minimum wage in the Yukon is currently $15.70 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $16.77 per hour as of April 1, 2023.  

The minimum overtime rate is time and a half of the employee’s regular rate for hours worked over 8 in a day or 40 in a week. Some exceptions may apply.

More information on minimum wage and overtime, including exemptions, can be found on the government site.

FAQ

April 1 falls in the middle of the pay period, can I wait until the next pay period to start paying the new minimum wage?

No. The new minimum wage comes into effect on April 1. Any hours worked on that date and after must be paid at the new minimum wage rate.

 

Example: Minimum wage is increasing from $14 to $14.50*, and the pay period is March 26 to April 8. The employee works 8 hours a day, Monday to Friday, and is paid at minimum wage.


Rate from March 26 to March 31: $14
Rate from April 1: $14.50

*rates used for illustrative purposes only

 

Do I have to increase the wages/salaries of my employees who currently earn more than the minimum wage?

No. The law requires that you pay at least the minimum wage to all employees; beyond that, wage increases are at your discretion.

 

Minimum wage increases really hurt my bottom line – what can I do?

Minimum wage is set by law, and as such you cannot pay your employees less than that amount. However, there are some things you may be able to do to help balance the increase in payroll. 

 

Update your business plan and review your spending

Take a look at your business plan (or put one together if you’ve never done so before) and find out what the financial realities of a rising minimum wage mean to your business. BDC has a business plan template, and our Savings Program Partner, VuBiz, offers a course on how to write a business plan. 

 

Ask yourself:

  • How much can I offset the impact by increasing prices, while being careful not to diminish demand?
  • Are there any inefficiencies or luxury items in my monthly spending that can be eliminated or reduced?
  • Can I cut inventory and lower warehousing costs? 

 

Finally, take a close look at your staffing levels. Can you automate some processes, put a cap on total hours for each period, or trim certain shifts in length? Are there technologies available to help you monitor hours more closely and cut waste from your salary expenditure?

 

Look for ways to increase productivity

If you’re going to be paying your employees more, you’ll want to be doubly sure they’re making the most of their time. Review your processes, looking for ways to streamline operations and remove inefficiencies from their workflow. Create daily schedules of responsibilities so your team is kept busy, rather than them waiting around to receive direction. Introducing certain policies in your workplace can heighten productivity (cell phone usage, social media, attendance, computer policy, etc.)

 

Work to increase sales and revenue

The best way to compensate for increased wages is by boosting your sales. Whether you hire professional help to develop a marketing plan for your small business, or brainstorm some strategies together with your staff, there’s never a bad time to work on growing sales, for example:

    • Introductory discounts for first-time clients,
    • A loyalty program for existing customers,
    • Adding social media marketing to traditional advertising methods,
    • An innovative partnership idea that generates new exposure,
    • Emphasize big-ticket, high-margin items,
    • Consider reorganizing your brick-and-mortar store, if you have one, or
    • Feature selected big-ticket items on the front page of your website to try and stimulate interest.

 

Engage and empower your employees

Be upfront with your staff about the financial pressures you’ll face as a result of the wage increases, and ask for their input on ways they can contribute more in return for improved compensation. You may be surprised by some of the skills and abilities your employees can bring to the table! Your staff may be motivated by friendly internal competitions between departments to see who can improve output the most. Employees who are engaged in their jobs and feel empowered by their responsibilities will be more willing and able to help your business embrace challenges. They’re also likely to stay in their jobs longer, reducing costs associated with turnover and hiring new staff.

Wage subsidies and government funding available to you

The Canada Business Network is a free, user-friendly online search tool from the federal government that gives information on all the government grants, subsidies, and tax credits available to you. Innovation Canada provides a Business Benefit Finder which can help you narrow down the options available to you.

Membership with the CFIB is an included benefit when you join the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC). For more information, visit https://ficdn.ca/memberships.

 

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.

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