Minimum wage going up to $14.25 on October 1st
Employment Standards / Regulations
While Ontario businesses struggle with a multitude of challenges, the Province of Ontario is proceeding with legislated increases to the minimum wage under the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA). For Ontario employers this means an increase in the general minimum wage from $14.00 to $14.25 as of October 1, 2020.
The Minimum wage is defined as the lowest wage rate an employer may pay an employee. Most employees are eligible for minimum wage, whether they are full-time, part-time, casual employees, or are paid an hourly rate, commission, piece rate, flat rate or salary.
If an employee's pay is based completely or partly on commission, their pay must amount to at least the minimum wage for each hour the employee has worked.
Minimum wage rates may vary depending on the type of work being performed. Below is a table of minimum wage rates under the ESA from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021:
- General minimum wage: $14.25 per hour
- Student minimum wage: $13.40 per hour
- Liquor servers minimum wage: $12.45 per hour
- Homeworkers wage: $15.70 per hour
- Hunting, fishing and wilderness guides minimum wage: a $71.30 rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day or a $142.60 rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
If a change to the minimum wage rate comes into effect partway through an employee's pay period, the pay period will be treated as if it were two separate pay periods and the employee will be entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies in each of those periods.
Minimum wage rules in Ontario apply to employees who are employed in positions covered by the ESA. As such, individuals that are correctly categorized as independent contractors are exempt from the minimum wage provisions of the ESA.
Further, certain employees have jobs that are exempt from the minimum wage provisions of the ESA because of the type of work or industry involved. Those jobs are listed below.
- Secondary school students working in co-operative programs authorized by their school board;
- People participating in the Community Participation program as part of the Ontario Works program;
- Police officers (with the exception of lie detector sections in Part XVI of the ESA);
- Inmates taking part in work or rehabilitation programs;
- Young offenders who perform work as part of a sentence or court order;
- Politicians, judges, religious officials or elected trade union officials;
- Post-secondary students working in co-operative or work experience programs approved by their college or university; or
Also, Employees whose jobs are regulated by federal employment laws and standards are subject to federal employment standards including:
- the federal civil service;
- post offices;
- radio and television stations;
- inter-provincial railways; and
- inter-provincial trucking.
Canadians welcome technology at work - but not everybody is benefiting
A new Environics Institute survey reveals that Canadians generally take a favourable view of technology in the workplace. Two-thirds of Canadians in the labour force report that computer technology has changed the way they do their jobs, with most rating the effects of technology as positive or neutral.
The 2020 Survey on Employment and Skills, conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research in partnership with the Future Skills Centre and Ryerson University's Diversity Institute, follows up on preliminary findings released in May of this year. The Survey found that a majority of workers described their jobs as easier or even more enjoyable, thanks to new technology, while only a minority said their jobs had become less enjoyable, more difficult, less well-paid or less secure.
As welcome as those results might seem, they come with a qualification: the effects of technology in the workplace are uneven. Men are more likely than women to report higher income and higher job security as a result of new technology, and managerial workers are more likely than those in sales and retail to have experienced an increase in earnings.
The Survey revealed that Canadians also have positive views of the skills training they receive. Half of Canadians in the labour force participated in a work-related training course over the past five years, and up to 90% judged it useful in developing skills that helped them do their work better. But again, the impact of training is uneven. Those who least need it are the most likely to access it-notably full-time workers, professionals, executives, managers and the university-educated.
The survey of 5,000 adults in all jurisdictions across Canada was conducted either online (provinces) or by telephone (territories) between February 28 and April 4, 2020.
- Most Canadians say that new computer or information technologies have changed the way they do their jobs, and this change is more likely to be seen as being positive than negative.
- A majority of college and university graduates in all major fields of study say that their programs prepared them very or somewhat well for the jobs that they have worked in after graduation. However, the proportion of graduates saying they were very well prepared for their jobs is higher among those who completed their studies before 2000 than among more recent graduates.
- Canadians have become much more skeptical about the wider economic benefits of new technologies. Only half as many Canadians today as in 1985 expect the introduction of more automation and new technology into the workplace to lead to a stronger Canadian economy and lower prices for consumers.
- When Canadians think about what is needed to succeed in the modern workplace, they have in mind a broad range of skills-such as those related to communication, collaboration and leadership-and not just technical know-how.
- A majority say the lack of the required education or training for unemployed workers is currently an important cause of unemployment in Canada. However, the proportion holding this view has not changed over time.
- The most common way for Canadians in the labour force to personally learn new work-related skills is by learning from co-workers on the job.
- Two in five Canadians think it is likely that they would receive a grant from the government to help pay for training so they can improve their work-related skills.
Over 1,000 people needed to work on two major power projects in the north
Powerline Transmission / Construction
Valard, a Calgary-based construction company, has been selected as the contractor for both the East-West Tie Line and Wataynikaneyap Power line in Northwestern Ontario.
"These are large jobs, yes. Very large jobs," said Carey Kostyk, a senior executive vice president at Valard.
"Both together, it's over a billion dollars of work. Between all the jobs, those two jobs that we're doing, we have over 1,000 people in the area working."
The East-West Tie Line, a 450-kilometre line stretching from Wawa to Thunder Bay, is a $777 million project.
Kostyk said Valard is using Thunder Bay as a staging location for many of its trucks and crews. The company is using the former Abitibi Lakeshore mill for its equipment in Thunder Bay.
Construction on the East-West Tie Line is slated to be completed by the end of 2021.
Work on the Wataynikaneyap project for Valard includes the line's engineering, procurement and construction.
The work is being done in two phases; one is the construction of a transmission line from Wabigoon to Pickle Lake, and the second phase is lines from Pickle Lake and Red Lake to 17 remote communities, requiring over 1,600 kilometres of line.
The scale of the project means 22 temporary work camps will be set up and dismantled. Currently, camps are already constructed near Sioux Lookout, Pickle Lake and north of Pickle Lake.
Most First Nations are expected to be hooked up to the provincial grid by 2023. Pikangikum was the first remote community to be connected to the grid in December 2018.
Kostyk said there are more than 1,000 Valard employees now in the northwest, and that figure does not include other contractors.
"Hiring local is a drive that we have, and we're trying to develop. Right now we have over 20 per cent of our workforce is local."
This Week in Social Media
Please take the time to 'like' or 'follow':
- Ontario Public Service Launches Third-Party Review of Inclusive Workplace Policies and Programs (Click Here)
- 66 per cent of Ottawa's COVID-19 cases are from racialized communities (Click Here)
- Stoney Creek window and door manufacturer hoping to add 30 skilled jobs (Click Here)
- Immigration lawyers welcome proposed changes to provincial nominee program (Click Here)
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Did you know?
The majority of workers faced at least some risk of automation, including 10.6 per cent who are at high risk and 29.1 per cent at moderate risk. Among occupational categories, office support workers are the most at risk of automation-related job transformation, while professionals are the least.
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