On April 1, 2022, the minimum wage for federally regulated workers in Canada was increased to $15.55 per hour. This was a significant increase considering a minimum wage rate for federally regulated employees was newly implemented into the Canada Labour Code (the “CLC”) on December 29, 2021.
Federally regulated workers are generally not subject to provincial laws. In Ontario, for example, the employment rights of Federal workers fall under the Canada Labour Code, instead of the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000.
History of Minimum Wage for Federally Regulated Workers
Historically, it was determined that provincial labour standards laws did not apply to federally regulated employees. However, two hard-fought cases were determined at the Supreme Court in both 1966 (1966 SCR 767) and 1988 (1988 1 SCR 749). Bell Canada fought not to have a minimum wage affect federal workers and won. Because the Federal government did not have an implemented minimum wage rate, that meant there was none. However, the Canadian Federal government stepped in and enacted the argument they had made in the Bell Canada cases, that federally regulated workers within each Province would be subject to the minimum wage within that province.
Current Minimum Wage for Federally Regulated Workers
Today this provision is included in the Canada Labour Code (the “CLC”) itself, specifically ss. 178(1) and 178(2), which mandates that federally regulated employees shall be paid no less than the set minimum wage rate determined in accordance with s. 178.1. However, if the province where the employee is usually employed has a higher minimum wage rate than what is federally mandated, the employer shall pay the higher minimum rate, regardless if it is calculated hourly or on any other basis of time.
Therefore, the current law is very clear that federally regulated workers now have their own unique calculation of minimum wage rates that is separate from the provincially regulated minimum wage rates unless the province in which the federal worker usually works has a higher minimum wage rate than what is federally mandated, wherein they would be subject to the provincial rates. Nonetheless, no federally regulated worker should be earning less than $15.55 per hour.
- Find out who federally regulated workers are in Canada
- Find out who are the largest federally regulated employers in Canada
If you are an employer or an employee who needs legal advice based on how the changes to the Ontario and federal laws affect you, please contact Monkhouse Law.
Monkhouse Law is an employment law firm located in Toronto focusing on workers’ issues. Give us a call at 416-907-9249 or fill out this quick form. We offer a free 30-minute phone consultation.
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