October 11, 2020 basel

This paper is regarded as a few documents served by the Secretariat towards the Professional Panel on contemporary Federal Labour Standards

This paper is regarded as a few documents served by the Secretariat towards the Professional Panel on contemporary Federal Labour Standards


As history information to stimulate the Panel’s talks. The documents try not to always mirror the views of this federal Government of Canada.

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For longer than two decades, the federal minimum wage was pegged within the Canada Labour Code to your minimal wage rate when you look at the province or territory where the employee is normally used. Should this method be maintained or should a freestanding minimum that is federal be reinstated? In case a freestanding price had been become used, exactly just exactly how should it is set, at exactly what degree and whom should really be eligible to it?


The minimum wage could be the cheapest wage rate that an boss can lawfully spend its workers and it is a core labour standard.

The underlying policy intent for developing minimal wages varies. Governments have historically placed them in position by having a view to protecting non-unionized employees, decreasing the amount of low-paying jobs, alleviating poverty, producing incentives to your workplace, handling inequality and stimulating development through increased need.

Minimal wages are set and modified in different means: in legislation or laws; by the government-of-the-day or a separate board; and centered on inflation, typical wage prices or other financial facets.

The minimum that is first rates had been created in Canada during the early 20 century and used mainly to females and kids. Manitoba and British Columbia introduced minimal wage legislation in 1918 and Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan observed suit in 1920. Prince Edward Island had been the province that is last pass minimal wage legislation addressing both women and men, which it did in 1960.

The federal minimum wage may be the minimum wage applicable to employees included in component III (Labour requirements) regarding the Canada Labour Code (the Code). This can include workers in federally regulated companies, federal Crown corporations and specific native federal government tasks on very very very First Nations reserves.

Pre-1996 approach

From 1965, whenever role III associated with Code arrived into force, until 1970, the federal minimum wage ended up being specified into the Code and, at the time of 1971, the Governor in Council had the authority to adjust the price through regulation.

The minimum that is federal was set at $1.25 and rose to $4.00 each hour by 1986, at which point it remained unchanged for the following ten years or more. The federal rate had fallen significantly behind provincial and territorial minimum wage rates, which averaged about $5.95 per hour by the mid-1990s.

Present approach

The Code ended up being amended in 1996 to deal with this example. In specific, modifications had been made so your federal minimum wage would adjust immediately with alterations in provincial and territorial prices, therefore making sure the federal price would manage its relevance as time passes in various financial and social conditions around the world.

The approach that is current present in section 178 of Part III associated with Code, has two important elements:

  • First, the federal minimum wage is placed once the “minimum hourly rate fixed, every so often, by or under an Act associated with the legislature associated with province where in actuality the worker is generally used which is generally speaking relevant irrespective of career, status or work experience” Footnote 1
  • 2nd, the Governor in Council has got the authority, by purchase, to: a) replace the minimal hourly price that was fixed with regards to work in a province with another price; or b) fix the absolute minimum hourly price pertaining to work in a province if no such minimal hourly price was fixed. Neither of the two authorities has ever been utilized

In addition, area 178 offers up situations where workers are compensated for a foundation apart from a rate that is hourly. In specific, such workers must get at the least the exact carbon copy of the minimum wage. The Minister is authorized, by purchase, to repair “a standard foundation of work to which a minimal wage on a foundation apart from time might be applied”, as well as “a minimal rate of wage that when you look at the viewpoint of this Minister could be the exact carbon copy of the minimum wage”.

Present developments

There has been phone phone calls in modern times when it comes to government to re-establish a uniform, freestanding federal minimum wage. Some have actually argued that this is certainly a case of decency (for example Arthurs, 2006) yet others it is a matter of showing leadership that is federalfor instance New Democratic Party movement tabled into the House of Commons in 2014).

Provincial and territorial minimum wages have actually proceeded to steadily increase. At the time of 1, 2019, they averaged $12.23 per hour, with a low of $11.00 per hour in Saskatchewan and a high of $14.00 per hour in Ontario january. Many provinces and regions now additionally review and/or set their prices on a daily basis and most prices are indexed to inflation.

In addition, a few provinces have recently implemented significant increases within their prices, or have actually established that they can do this. Ontario raised its minimal wage from $11.60 to $14.00 each hour on January 1, 2018. In Alberta, the minimal wage rate increased from $11.60 to $15.00 each hour on October 1, 2018 and, in British Columbia, the provincial price increased from $11.35 to $12.65 on June 1, 2018 and certainly will increase to $14.60 on June 1, 2019 and $15.20 on June 1, 2021.

More generally speaking, high-profile promotions to increase wage that is minimum led by labour and anti-poverty businesses have actually gained energy across the united states in the last few years (for example Fight for $15 and Fairness).

In addition, brand brand brand new research methodologies and findings have actually assisted to both spur renewed desire for the results of minimal wages and notify the development of minimal wage-related reforms. The latter consist of city-level minimal wages in Seattle, Chicago, new york and Washington, D.C., plus the introduction of the nationwide minimum wage in Germany in 2015 and a nationwide living wage in the United Kingdom in 2016.

Minimal wage into the federally regulated sector that is private

This area has an analysis of minimal wage and low-wage employees into the federally regulated private sector (FRPS), along with violations regarding the Code’s minimum wage needs.

Analysis of low-wage employees

In line with the jurisdiction that is 2015Federal Survey (FJWS) in addition to Labour Force Survey (LFS), the Labour Program estimates that there have been 42,000 workers within the FRPS earning the minimum wage when you look at the province by which they worked in 2017, amounting to 5% of most FRPS workers. This even compares to 7% of workers earning the minimum wage in Canada in general (excluding the regions, which is why information aren’t available) in 2017. Footnote 2

Its beneficial to think about those workers making right above the present minimum wage whom may be straight impacted by the use of the uniform federal wage that is minimum. To get this done, a wage limit of $15.00 each hour in 2017 ended up being selected. The effect is approximately 67,000 workers making not as much as $15.00 each hour in 2017, equal to 7% of FRPS employees. By comparison, 21% of most workers in Canada could be making lower than $15 each hour. A far smaller share of FRPS workers would consequently just be earning over the minimum wage when compared with employees in Canada in general.

Here are some can be an analysis of this circulation among these two sets of employees—current minimum wage employees and people that could be making not as much as $15 per www.essay-writing.org/ hour—by different faculties, when it comes to FRSP as well as for Canada in general. When you look at the discussion below, the word “low-wage workers” covers both groups. Footnote 3

The distribution that is provincial of workers involving the FRPS and Canada is approximately comparable ( dining Table 1). Around two-fifths of low-wage employees have been in Ontario. About one-fifth to one-quarter come in Quebec.