Minimum Wages Increased

Today, October 1, 2015, the minimum wages increased in 5 provinces (AB, SK, MB, ON and NL). To see the new rates in effect, see this posting by Wagepoint.

While October 1 is given as the effective date for all these increases, how are we to apply this change in payroll? Does it mean that all work on or before September 30, 2015 is paid at the old rate and any work on or after October 1, 2015 must be paid for at the new rate? Or does it mean that, as of October 1, employees must be paid at least the new minimum wage, even for work in September?

Marty’s next pay is Thursday, October 1, 2015, covering work in the bi-weekly pay period Sunday, September 13 to Saturday, September 26. He’s subject to the minimum wage under the Ontario employment standards. Marty’s hourly rate of pay is $11.15 and worked 40 regular hours in the pay period. What’s the minimum that Marty must be paid on October 1?

Is this Marty’s hourly rate ($11.15) times 40 hours (since all the work was done prior to October 1) or is it the new Ontario minimum wage ($11.25) times 40 hours (since the pay date is on or after October 1)?

The language in the employment standards for each of these jurisdictions seems clear that it’s the pay date that counts, not the date when work was done. For example, Ontario says specifically (Part IX of the Regulations) that determining compliance with the minimum wage is done on a pay period basis; that for hourly paid employees, the minimum pay in a pay period must be the regular hours of work times the minimum wage applicable to the pay period.

Alan McEwen is a Vancouver Island-based HRIS/Payroll consultant and freelance writer with over 25 years’ experience in all aspects of the payroll industry. He can be reached at armcewen@shaw.ca or (250) 228-5280. Alan McEwen & Associates is currently offering a series of Vancouver Island payroll training seminars. For information on upcoming seminars, signup to our email list.

About Alan R. McEwen

HRIS/Payroll consultant and freelance writer
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