What is the minimum wage in Ontario in 2021?
General Minimum Wage Rate
On October 1, 2021, the general minimum wage which applies to most employees in Ontario has increased from $14.25 to $14.35 per hour.
On the same day, the minimum wage has also increased for specific categories of employees referred to below entitled to a “special minimum wage rate”.
The minimum wage entitlements and exemptions in Ontario are set out in the Employment Standards Act, 2000, SO 2000, c 41 (“ESA”) and its regulations.
The minimum wage for students under the age of 18, who work 28 hours per week or less when school is in session or who work during a school break or summer holidays, has increased from $13.40 to $13.50 per hour.
The minimum wage for employees who, as a regular part of their employment, serve liquor directly to customers, guests, members, or patrons in licensed premises and who regularly receive tips of other gratuities as a part of their work, has increased from $12.45 to $12.55 per hour.
Employees who do paid work in their own homes have also seen an increase in their wages from $15.70 to $15.80 per hour. However, note that students of any age, including those under the age of 18 years, who are employed as homeworkers must be paid the homeworker’s minimum wage.
Hunting, Fishing and Wilderness Guides
The minimum wage for hunting, fishing and/or wilderness guides is determined per block of time worked, rather than per hour. Their minimum daily rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day has increased from $71.30 to $71.75. Their minimum daily rate for working five or more hours in a day, whether the hours are consecutive or not, has increased from $142.60 to $143.55.
How is minimum wage in Ontario in 2021 calculated for a class of employees?
Since October 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Ontario has been calculated based on annual inflation. This calculation is set out in s. 23.1(4) of the ESA.
Is the minimum wage in Ontario in 2021 still applicable to those who earn commission, a flat rate or piece rate salary?
Unless exempt under the ESA, for employees whose pay is based entirely or partly on commission, on a flat rate, or on a piece rate, the employee’s pay must amount to at least the minimum wage for each hour worked.
Who is exempt from the statutory minimum wage provisions under the ESA?
Pursuant to O. Reg 285/01, the following classes of employees are exempt from minimum wage under the ESA:
- Chiropodists and chiropody students;
- Chiropractors and chiropractic students;
- Dentists and dentistry students;
- Massage therapists and massage therapy students;
- Naturopaths and naturopathy students;
- Optometrists and optometry students;
- Pharmacists and pharmacy students;
- Physicians, surgeons and medical students;
- Physiotherapists and physiotherapy students;
- Psychologists and psychology students;
- Veterinarians and veterinary students;
- Commissioned travelling salespersons;
- Real estate salespersons and brokers;
- Certain farm employees;
- Near farmers;
- Landscape gardeners;
- Architects and architecture students;
- Engineers and engineering students;
- Lawyers and articling students;
- Public accountants and public accountancy students;
- Surveyors and surveying students;
- Teachers and students training to be teachers;
- Residential building superintendents, janitors and caretakers; and
- Employees not covered by the ESA.
Residential health care workers are not entitled to the general minimum wage rate; instead, they are entitled to a regular rate of pay that equals at least the minimum wage rate for the lesser of the number of actual hours worked or 12 hours.
Fruit, vegetable and tobacco harvesters can be paid less than minimum wage if they are paid on a piece work basis and the rate is high enough that they could earn at least minimum wage with reasonable effort, or their employer provides them with room and board and deducts the costs for their room and board from their pay, not more than the maximum amounts set out in O. Reg. 285/01.
Homecare workers are entitled to be paid minimum wage for no more than 12 hours per day.
For more information on minimum wage or minimum employment standards in Ontario, please contact our firm.
Please note that this article is only to be used as general information and it does not constitute legal advice. We encourage employers and employees to contact Levitt Sheikh directly to better understand provincial employment standards and seek legal advice to their questions.