Minimum Wage Increases Across Canada
Several provinces in Canada have recently raised their minimum wage rates, benefiting hourly workers across the country. The wage hikes, effective as of October 1, 2023, reflect the following changes:
Ontario: Increased from $15.50 to $16.55
Manitoba: Increased from $14.15 to $15.30
Saskatchewan*: Increased from $13.00 to $14.00
Nova Scotia: Increased from $14.50 to $15.00
Newfoundland and Labrador: Increased from $14.50 to $15.00
Prince Edward Island: Increased from $14.50 to $15.00
Additionally, Saskatchewan plans to further increase its minimum wage to $15.00 per hour in October 2024.
Advancing Wage Equity and Workplace Rights for Immigrants
The wage increases hold significant importance for Canada’s immigrant population, who have historically been overrepresented in low-wage jobs and face vulnerability to workplace exploitation. In other words, it’s crucial to note that immigrants in Canada have the same rights and protections as other employees. Canada’s Labour Code ensures employees’ right to work safely and be compensated fairly, and employers have specific obligations, including providing training, healthcare, information about employee rights, and a signed employment agreement.
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Employers must not force employees to perform unsafe or unauthorized tasks, making sick or injured employees work, or threatening immigration status or deportation. Canada’s labour laws, both federal and provincial/territorial, protect the rights of all workers, including foreign nationals, and the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on various grounds.
Importantly, Canada safeguards employees who report workplace misconduct from any consequences. As a matter of fact, inappropriate employer behavior can be reported to the appropriate workplace health and safety office in the affected province or territory.
This wage increase not only signifies better compensation for hourly workers but also serves as a reminder of the rights and protections that apply to all employees, including immigrants, in Canada.