To date, 2017 has been a year of change for minimum wage standards in Canada. In an effort to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of living, several provinces have responded with commitments to minimum wage increases. So far, both Alberta and Ontario have committed to increasing their minimum wage rates to $15 per hour—Alberta by October 2018 and Ontario by January 2019.
These changes are significant and represent some of the biggest increases to minimum wage rates that Canada has ever seen. If passed, the proposed legislation will increase the minimum wage by $3.60 in just 18 months; in the past decade alone, Ontario’s minimum wage only increased by $3.40 total. While Alberta’s minimum wage adjustment is set to change by slightly less, it will still account for a $2.80 increase to be made between now and October 2018.
These changes may be good for employees, but they no doubt place significant pressure on employers, who will be expected to adjust their operations, policies, practices, and budgets to remain compliant. Although the changes will be incrementally administered, jumps like the $2.40-per-hour increase that Ontarians will face in just six months places departments such as finance and HR under the gun to be prepared if the changes come their way.
As with any major employment standards changes, it’s important to think of where these changes will hit your operations the hardest, and prepare for these changes. Working with the other departments in your organization to determine the appropriate course of action for your company will ensure that you achieve the best possible result.
So what can you do, from the perspective of human resources management, to prepare your organization? Download our Minimum Wage Changes Guide, which explores some of the fundamental considerations you should think about when preparing for your organization’s minimum wage increases.
Source: Statistics Canada, June 2017
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