As you may have heard, Premier Wynne announced the Ontario government plans to increase the provincial minimum wage to $15 an hour, which is up from $11.40 per hour. This increase will be phased in over the next 18 months with the full $15 an hour taking effect on January 1, 2019. Ontario now joins Alberta as having the highest provincial minimum wages in the country. This may a substantial positive impact on the youth and families we serve.
The announcement was one of several other proposed government changes to workforce rules including equal pay for part-time workers who are doing the same job as full-time workers, minimum vacation entitlement of three weeks per year, and others.
Of course, this wage increase will have an impact on employers' payrolls. For example, for those CMHO members who operate programs with part time/casual staff, the legislation may now require part-time wages on par with full-time staff wages. This may have a significant financial impact. Additionally, it may be difficult to retain staff who are currently earning $15 an hour without wage increases.
We are asking members to please inform us of other potential negative impacts this legislation may have on your agencies so that we can communicate these concerns to government. We will also work with sector partners to determine an appropriate response and/or advocacy approach.
You can read CBC's coverage of the announcement here.
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