Reminder: Ontario minimum wage increase now in effect

Jan 2 2018, 3:39 pm

Many Ontario workers kicked off the new year with some extra dough in their pockets, as the province-wide minimum wage increase came into effect on New Year’s Day.

As of January 1, workers saw their hourly wage increase by $2.40 from $11.60 to $14, and according to the province of Ontario, 55 per cent of all retail workers were able to receive the pay raise.

The increase basically works out to be just shy of an extra $5k a year for full time retail workers ($2.40 x 40 hours x 50 weeks – including two weeks vacation – = $4800.

And according to the province, this move will also “help bring millions of people from the margins of the economy to a place where they are able to better provide for their families and get ahead.”

In addition to the minimum wage increase, the following changes also came into effect:

  • Ensuring workers are entitled to at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with the same employer, bringing Ontario’s vacation time in line with the national average
  • Expanding the 10 days per calendar year for personal emergency leave to employees in workplaces with fewer than 50 employees, with at least two paid days per year for employees who have been employed for at least a week
  • new domestic or sexual violence leave of up to 10 individual days and up to 15 weeks of job protected leave; the first five days of leave in every calendar year would be paid
  • Increased family medical leave from 8 to 28 weeks per year
  • A new child death leave from any cause up to 104 weeks, and increased crime-related disappearance of a child leave from 52 to 104 weeks
  • Changes to make forming a union and reaching a first collective agreement easier

This change comes as part of the highly anticipated labour reform bill, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, which officially passed in November 2017.

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