Minimum Wage Rates in Canada
By Province

Part 4 in the Canadian Payroll Series

by L. Kenway BComm CPB

Minimum Wage Rates in Canada and Provincial Labor Standards

When BC BC introduced their first minimum wage rate increase in 10 years in 2011, I decided it was time to start tracking what the rest of Canada was doing as well. Many of the provinces now tie their minimum wage to inflation and adjust the rate annually. It won't be long before B.C. falls behind.

I thought it would be nice and convenient to know where to locate provincial employment standards as well, so I've included that in the table of minimum hourly rates by province too.

Now it is 2015 and you can also find current rates on the Government Of Canada website under Labour Program. I thought I'd keep my table anyway as it also has prior period information.

What You'll Find In This Chat ...

Take a short break while you look through my notes on minimum wage and related issues.

  • Provincial Labor Standards
  • Hours of Work Compliance
  • Unclaimed/Uncashed Pay Cheques

Other Chats in This
4 Part Series On Canadian Payroll

Click on an image to go to the chat.

Part 1

Canadian payroll tax deductions

Payroll Tax Deductions
Employee Taxable Benefits

Part 2

Canadian payroll tax rates - current Ei and CPP rates

2016/2017 EI & CPP Rates
Paying Employees With Cash

Part 3

Canadian subcontracting reporting requirements

CRA Subcontracting
Reporting Requirements

Part 4

Minimum wage rates and provincial labor standards

Minimum Wages
Provincial Labor Standards

Table of Contents
for Series

Canadian Payroll Series Table of Contents and Forum

Payroll Q&A

Minimum Wage Rate and Labor Laws Table
By Province

Updated: January 4, 2017

Minimum wages vary by province and territory. There is no national legislation regulating the minimum wage since 1995. The laws, exemptions to the wage and other labor law issues are provincially and territorially regulated. (see source notes)

The Yukon, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland now tie their minimum wage to inflation. Alberta uses a formula which includes CPI. 

In some provinces, employees who receive gratuities, are inexperienced or are employed in certain professions such as liquor servers may be paid at a lower regulated rate.

It is interesting to note that Canada's minimum wage rates are higher than the federal minimum wage in the US which was set in 2010 at $7.25 USD.

In Obama's State of Union address in February 2013, he announced that minimum wage will be increased in stages until it reaches $9 in 2015. After that, the minimum wage will be indexed to inflation. Then in January 2014, he announced an executive order raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for future federal contract workers.

Currently BC, where I live, has the lowest minimum wage in Canada. The next two wage increases (2016 and 2017) are designed to move BC to the middle of the pack.

Source Reference: Federal Minimum Wages and Low-Income Workers in Canada, Parliament of Canada - Library of Parliament Research Publications says, "Prior to 1996, the Canadian federal government set its own minimum wage rate, a single rate that was applied to all employers covered under Part III of the Canada Labour Code. Since that time, the federal minimum wage has been set according to the applicable provincial or territorial legislated rate for adult workers".

Province Rank General Rate Special Rate* Effective Date Authority
B.C. 6 $11.25 ? Sep 15, 2017 Estimated as CPI is not known until March 2017
8 $10.85 ? Sep 15, 2016 New rate includes $0.10 for CPI and $0.30 to take BC out of last place
$10.45 $9.20 Sep 15, 2015 will announce annual increases each March based on CPI; to be effective Sep. 15
$10.25 $9.00 May 1, 2012
$9.50 $8.75 Nov 1, 2011
$8.75 $8.50 May 1, 2011 BC Ministry of Labour
Employment Standards

Alberta $15.00 $14.50 Oct 1, 2018
1 $13.60 $13.10 Oct 1, 2017
3 $12.20 $11.70 Oct 1, 2016
$11.20 $10.70 Oct 1, 2015
$10.20 $9.20 Sep 1, 2014
$9.95 $9.05 Sep 1, 2013
$9.75 $9.05 Sep 1, 2012
$9.40 $9.05 Sep 1, 2011 increase annually on September 1 by formula using average weekly earnings in Alberta as well as CPI.
$8.80 Apr 1, 2009 Employment and Immigration
Employment Standards

10 $10.72 $32.16** Oct 1, 2016
$10.50 $31.50** Oct 1, 2015
$10.20 $30.60** Oct 1, 2014 now indexed to CPI and announced annually on June 30.
$10.00 $30.00** Dec 1, 2012
$9.50 $28.50** Sep 1, 2011
$27.75** May 1, 2009 Labour, Employee & Employer Services
Labour Standards

Manitoba 5 $11.00 See ICI table Oct 1, 2015
$10.70 See ICI table Oct 1, 2014
$10.45 Oct 1, 2013
$10.25 Oct 1, 2012
10.00 Oct 1, 2011 Labour and Immigration
Employment Standards
Ontario 4 $11.40 $10.55 student
$9.90 liquor
Oct 1, 2016
$11.25 $10.55 student
$9.80 liquor
Oct 1, 2015
$11.00 $10.30 student
$9.55 liquor
Jun 1, 2014 will be indexed to inflation beginning Oct 1, 2015; increases announced 6 months in advance
$10.25 $9.60 student
$8.90 liquor
Mar 31, 2010 Ministry of Labour
Employment Standards

Quebec 9 $10.75 $9.20 May 1, 2016
$10.55 $9.05 May 1, 2015
$10.35 $8.90 May 1, 2014
$10.15 $8.75 May 1, 2013
$9.90 $8.55 May 1, 2012
$9.65 $8.35 May 1, 2011 Commission des norms
du travail
Labour Standards

New Brunswick 7 $11.00 Apr. 1, 2017
12 $10.65 Apr. 1, 2016
$10.30 Jan. 1, 2015
$10.00 Apr 1, 2015
$10.00 Apr 1, 2012
$9.50 Apr 1, 2011 Post-Secondary
Education, Training and Labour
Employment Standards

Nova Scotia 7 $11.00? $10.50? Apr 1, 2017
11 $10.70 $10.20 Apr 1, 2016
$10.60 $10.10 Apr 1, 2015
$10.40 $9.90 Apr 1, 2014
$10.30 $9.80 Apr 1, 2013
$10.15 $9.65 Apr 1, 2012
$10.00 $9.50 Oct 1, 2011 Labour and Advanced Education

PEI 5 $11.00 Oct 1, 2016
$10.75 Jun 1, 2016
$10.50 Jul 1, 2015
$10.35 Oct 1, 2014
$10.20 Jun 1, 2014
$10.00 Apr 1, 2012
$9.60 Oct 1, 2011 Community Services, Seniors and Labour
Employment Standards

Newfoundland 7 $11.00 Oct 1, 2017 Based on CPI annually and announced Jan 31
12 $10.75 Apr 1, 2017
13 $10.50 Oct 1, 2015
$10.25 Oct 1, 2014 was reviewed every 2 years until 2014, now reviewed every January
$10.00 Jul 1, 2010 Labour Relations

Employment Standards
Nunavut 1 $13.00 Apr1, 2016 Department of Justice

Labour Board Standards
$11.00 Jan 1, 2011 Department of Justice

Labour Board Standards
NWT 2 $12.50
Jun 1, 2015
$10.00 (see section 5 of regs) Apr 1, 2011 Education, Culture and Employment
Employment Standards Act & Regulations
Yukon 7 $11.07 Apr 1, 2016
$10.86 Apr 1, 2015
$10.72 Apr 1, 2014
$10.54 Apr 1, 2013
$10.30 May 1, 2012 Now based on CPI
$9.27 Apr 1, 2012 Department of
Community Services
Employment Standards

*Special wages refers to liquor servers and/or inexperienced workers. I have not identified any special rates with regards nannies.

**Minimum call-out pay is 3 times the minimum wage

Hours of Work Compliance

Hours of work compliance affects your payroll tax rates. I found two articles that I think may be of interest to my readers. Both are from the website HRinfodesk - Canadian Payroll and Employment Law at work.

The first article is titled Regarding hours of work compliance, what is the most confusing issue? By Christina Catenacci LL.B., Editor, Payroll and Employment Law News, June 2011.

They polled their readers and this article summarizes the results. The article discusses the three most confusing issues - salaried versus hourly work, whether workers are exempt, and attendance and absenteeism.

In the article there was a link to a second article titled Are Managers/Supervisors entitled to overtime pay? By Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., Managing Editor at Payroll and Employment Law News, July 2007

It was interesting to note that "in all Canadian jurisdictions, determining who is a Manager/Supervisor is not based on:

  • The title given to a position or the fact that other employees refer to that person as a ‘Manager.'
  • The form of payment of wages (e.g.., salary, hourly wage, commission).
  • The responsibility to open and close the business for the day."


Employment Standards Act
Unclaimed or Uncashed Pay Cheques

How to deal with unclaimed or uncashed pay cheques is covered under the Employment Standards Act in each province.

Each province's Act can be found in or around the links provided in the Minimum Wage Rate table above. For example, in B.C. you would look under Section 3 -19 where the Unclaimed Property Act is discussed. There are instructions on what to do if you can't locate the employee.

However, in the Simply Accounting community forum, it stated that in a 2007 discussion with Employment Standards in BC, the employer fulfilled their responsibility when they issued the pay cheque. It is the employee's responsibility to cash the cheque and/or provide the employer with a change of address. Therefore, the employer does not need to remit the amount to the director if the employee actually received the cheque and chose not to cash it.

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