Ontario Minimum Wage Increases by 25¢ on October 1st
September 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on September 30, 2020

By Barry W. Kwasniewski


Charities and not-for-profits paying minimum wage to their employees in Ontario must give them a raise. To comply with the rising minimum wage pursuant to subsection 23.1(4) of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), employers will have to pay at least $0.25 per hour more for employees when the statutory general minimum wage increases from $14.00 to $14.25 per hour, as of the 1st of October, 2020. The ESA does not make an exception for charities and not-for-profits. Also, under Section 23.1 of the ESA, the general minimum wage is adjusted for different classes of employees:

  • For employees who are students under 18 years of age “if the student’s weekly hours do not exceed 28 hours or if the student is employed during a school holiday,” the minimum wage increases from $13.15 to $13.40 an hour;
  • “For employees who, as a regular part of their employment, serve liquor directly to customers, guests, members or patrons in premises for which a licence or permit has been issued under the Liquor Licence Act and who regularly receive tips or other gratuities from their work,” the increase is from $12.20 to $12.45 an hour;
  • For homeworkers — including student homeworkers — their rates increase from $15.40 to $15.70 an hour. Homeworkers are defined under the ESA as individuals who perform work “for compensation in premises occupied by the individual primarily as residential quarters but does not include an independent contractor”;
  • For hunting and fishing or wilderness guides, their minimum rates also increase, with variations depending on their number of hours worked;
  • For all other workers, the new general minimum wage rate of $14.25 applies.

Subsection 23.1(4) of the ESA provides that the minimum wage is adjusted based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) between the previous calendar year and the year preceding that, published by Statistics Canada, rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents. Unless the CPI drops, annual minimum wage increases on the 1st of October are expected. Employers must ensure they are compliant with these laws. Subsection 23.1(6) of the ESA states that the minimum wage does not decrease, regardless of the change in the CPI. 


Read the September 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update