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FinanceSeptember 7, 2021by Kelvin Lee2021 Minimum Wage Increase in Ontario: All You Need to Know


The minimum wage in Ontario will increase on October 1, 2021. The general minimum wage is going up by 10 cents. It will be $14.35 per hour. Currently, the minimum wage in Ontario is $14.25 per hour.

What is minimum wage?

Minimum wage is the lowest wage an employer can legally pay their employee. The employer is free to pay more but they cannot pay less than the minimum wage outlined in the Employment Standards Act (ESA).

Full-time, part-time, casual employees or those paid an hourly rate, commission, piece rate, flat rate or salary are eligible for minimum wage. If a worker’s pay is based entirely or partly on commission, it must amount to at least the minimum wage for each hour the employee has worked.

However, some industries are exempt from the minimum wage provisions of the ESA.

Does the $14.35 minimum wage apply to all jobs in Ontario?

No. Besides the general minimum wage, there is a different minimum wage for students, liquor servers, hunting and fishing guides, homeworkers, and wilderness guides.

The specialized minimum wages will also change on October 1, 2021. The new rates will be:

Student minimum wage: $13.50 per hour

Liquor servers minimum wage:  $12.55 per hour

Hunting and fishing and wilderness guides minimum wage: $71.75 (For working less than five consecutive hours in a day)

$143.55 (For working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive)

Homeworkers wage: $15.80 per hour

What are employers expected to do?

Employers in Ontario should pay their minimum wage workers the increased general ($14.35 per hour) and specialized minimum wages from October 1, 2021.

Ontario minimum wage changes

On October 1 every year, the minimum wage rates may increase. The new rates that would apply from October 1 would be announced on or before April 1 of every year.

The current increase of 10 cents to the minimum wage in Ontario will be in effect from October 1, 2021, till September 30, 2022.

If a change to the minimum wage rate comes into effect partway through an employee’s pay period, their pay period will be treated as if it were two separate pay periods. The employee will be entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies in each of those periods.

Do you have questions about the minimum wage increase?

For advice on managing minimum wage payments, or any other questions related to employee pay, call an expert today at 1 (833) 247-3652.