Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is the lowest rate of pay that an employer can provide to an employee. This is a basic labour law that is specific to the province or territory to which your business operates.

As an employer, it is important to comply with the minimum wage as well as related employment standards, such as overtime pay. Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), employers should consider wage as it relates to your employees’ time spent on travel or training, and for those sent home after working less than three hours.

Do you have questions about paying your employees? Here are a few things to know about the minimum employment standards for wage.

Ontario’s Minimum Wage is $14.00 an Hour

As of January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Ontario is as follows:

Category Wage Rate
General $14.00 per hour
Students (under 18 years old) $13.15 per hour
Liquor Servers $12.20 per hour
Homeworkers $15.40 per hour
Hunting and Fishing Guides $70.00 per day (less than five consecutive hours in a day); $140.00 per day (five or more hours in a day, whether or not the hours are consecutive)

Minimum wage is not set to increase until 2020, after which it will link to inflation.

Paying Your Employees: Who’s included and who’s excluded from the minimum wage?

For the most part, almost all employers and employees in Ontario are covered under the ESA. The lowest rate of pay applies equally to all employees, regardless of age or working hours. However, there are some jobs that exempt employees from these minimum labour law requirements.

You must include employees who are:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Casual
  • Based on hourly pay
  • Paid commission, a piece rate, or a flat rate
  • On salary

Industries and jobs that are not covered under the ESA include professions such as police officers, airlines, banks, politicians, and judges. For more information on those excluded, you can read about it here.

Questions? Ask an HR expert!

Employer Line can help ensure that your employees are compensated appropriately. Call our complimentary HR and employment standards helpline to speak with one of our HR experts. 1(833) 247-3650 is the number to call when you have a question. We’re happy to answer your questions.