Minimum Wage: A Few Reminders

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On May 1, the standard minimum wage will increase from $12.50 to $13.10 an hour. But there are some rules you might not know.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, essential workers who earn a low salary will receive a bonus. Please see our article on compensation programs to learn more!

1)Workers who get tips

The minimum wage is lower if you work in a restaurant, bar, hotel, etc. and regularly get tips from clients.

As of May 1, 2020, your employer must pay you a minimum of $10.45 an hour, regardless of the tips you make. There’s an exception if you must wear a uniform (see below).

2)Berry Pickers

If you pick strawberries by hand, the minimum wage will go up to $1.04 per kilo. If you pick raspberries, it will be $3.89 per kilo.  

But if field or fruit conditions reduce how much you can pick, you must receive the standard minimum wage of $13.10 an hour.  

3)Employees not entitled to minimum wage

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

Also, minimum wage rules don’t apply to workers who are not covered by the Act respecting labour standards.

4)Employees earning a weekly salary

If you’re paid a fixed amount each week no matter how many hours you work, you’re entitled to minimum wage.

For example, if you’re paid $400 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.

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

5)Employees on commission

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

6)Employees who must wear a uniform

If you’re paid minimum wage and your employer requires you to wear a uniform, such as a white shirt and black pants, your employer must pay for the uniform.

If you earn more than minimum wage, the cost of the uniform should not reduce your earnings below the minimum wage, whether you or your employer pays for it.

Important! If you must wear a uniform and earn tips, your tips are included when calculating whether you’re getting the minimum wage.

7)Benefits with a monetary value

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