On April 1, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made an announcement to increase the federal minimum wage by 7% to $16.65 per hour in order to keep up with inflation. The surge of $1.10 per hour comes after the 6.8% rise in the consumer price index in 2022. Recently, an announcement was made by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), which highlighted the impact it will have on the minimum wage workers in federally-regulated private sectors such as banks, interprovincial transportation, and postal services to name a few.
The Surge in the Federal Minimum Wage
Canada’s Minister of Labour exclusively underlined the significance of taking care of the employees in order to experience exponential growth in the country. He also added that the increase in the federal minimum wage is projected to benefit approximately 26,000 working Canadians who were earning less than $15.55 per hour, the previous federal minimum wage.
With effect from April 1, 2023, the federal minimum wage will be $16.65, a 7% increase from the previous wage rate.
|British Columbia||$15.65||As of 06/01/2022|
|Alberta||$15.00||As of 06/26/2019|
|Saskatchewan||$13.00||$15.00 on 10/01/2024|
|Manitoba||$13.50||$15.30 on 10/01/2023|
|Ontario||$15.50||As of 10/01/2022|
|Quebec||$14.25||As of 05/01/2022|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$13.70||$15.00 on 10/01/2023|
|New Brunswick||$13.75||$14.75 on 04/01/2023|
|Prince Edward Island||$14.50||$15.00 on 10/01/2023|
|Nova Scotia||$13.60||$15.00 on 10/01/2023|
|Northwest Territories||$15.20||As of 09/01/2021|
|Nunavut||$16.00||As of 04/01/2020|
|Yukon||$15.70||$16.77 on 04/01/2023|
Employment Rights to Protect Newcomers
Canada is touted as one of the most immigrant-friendly countries in the world. It is also known for its established employment rights that protect newcomers from workplace exploitation. Under Canadian Labour Code, these rights allow workers to be entitled to fair compensation and a safe workplace. As a newcomer in Canada, one has a right to information about their rights, an employment agreement, job training, and healthcare services.
These rights safeguard newcomers from being exploited and mistreated in the workplace.
Another key point to keep in mind as a newcomer in Canada is that employers cannot ill-treat their employees. Mistreatment at a workplace includes forcing a worker to perform an unsafe or unauthorized job, forcing an employee to work if they are not well or injured, forcing overtime, taking away one’s passport or work permit, or deporting an employee. These actions are considered mistreatment in the eye of Canadian law.
Duty to Accommodate
IRCC expects employers to follow the “duty to accommodate” under the Canada Labour Code. This will help newcomers to conveniently transition into the new work culture. It will also reduce or prevent the chances of workplace discrimination and permit the worker to perform their job. Canada is strictly against any kind of workplace discrimination and identifies 11 grounds of discrimination to avoid any unpleasant situation for a newcomer.
Right to Report
If any situation employee feels that they are compensated unfairly or not being treated well, they can report the employment standards office in their respective province.