5 Thing to Know About the Minimum Wage Increase

In the News

The Quebec government announced a $0.50 increase to the minimum wage, effective May 1, 2024. This increase applies differently to employees receiving tips and to those working in the berry picking industry.   

Every year, the Ministère du Travail (Quebec department of labour) determines by how much the minimum wage will increase. This year, the minimum wage will increase to $15.75 per hour. This means workers who were already paid minimum wage and who work 40 hours a week will earn an additional $1040 per year before taxes. 

But some of the rules about minimum wage are less known. Here is an overview of the different types of earnings and the increases that apply in each case. 

Workers who get tips 

    The minimum wage for workers who get tips is $12.60. It’s lower than the regular minimum wage because tips are added on top of paid wages.  

    An employee is considered a “tip employee” if they regularly get tips from clients and work in a restaurant, bar, hotel, etc. 

    Berry Pickers  

      Starting May 1st, 2024, workers who pick raspberries or strawberries by hand are entitled to $4.68 per kilo (raspberries) and $1.25 per kilo (strawberries). 

      But if field or fruit conditions reduce how many berries workers can pick, they must receive the standard minimum wage at the very least.  

      Employees not entitled to minimum wage  

        Minimum wage rules don’t apply to some employees, such as interns in professional training programs.   

        Also, some workers are not covered by the Act respecting labour standards. This means that minimum wage rules don’t apply to them either. 

        Employees earning a weekly salary 

          Some employees are paid a fixed amount each week no matter how many hours they work. These workers are also entitled to minimum wage. 

          For example, if you’re paid $700 a week, divide this amount by the number of hours you work each week to make sure your hourly rate is equal to or higher than the minimum wage. For a person working 40 hours a week, their hourly rate would be $17.50. 

          If you work more hours than your normal work week, you might benefit from rules that apply to overtime work

          Employees on commission  

            Most employees who work on commission are entitled to the standard minimum wage.  

            Uniforms and benefits

            Sometimes, an employer requires staff to wear a uniform, such as a white shirt and black pants in a restaurant. The uniform must be provided free of charge by the employer if employees are paid minimum wage. If they earn more than minimum wage, the cost of the uniform should not reduce their salary below the minimum wage. Important! In this case, tips are included in the calculation.

            Do you have a company car? A company cellphone? Benefits with a monetary value are not included in calculating the minimum wage. Your employer must still pay you the minimum wage regardless of the value of these benefits.