Minimum wage is the lowest wage rate an employer can pay an employee. Most employees are eligible for minimum wage, whether they are full-time, part-time, casual employees, or are paid an hourly rate, commission, piece rate, flat rate or salary. Some employees have jobs that are exempt from the minimum wage provisions of the Employment Standards Act. See Industries and jobs with Employment Standards Act exemptions and/or special rules for information on these job categories.

Compliance with the minimum wage requirements is determined on a pay period basis.

Use the Employment Standards Self-Service Tool to check compliance with rules on minimum wage and other employment standards entitlements.

Effective January 1, 2022, the special minimum wage rate that previously applied to certain “liquor servers” was eliminated.

Minimum wage rates

New

Effective October 1, 2022, minimum wage rates in Ontario have increased. This increase is tied to the Ontario Consumer Price Index for 2022.

The general and specialized minimum wage rates are detailed in the chart below.

Minimum wage rateRates from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023Rates from January 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022Rates from October 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021Rates from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021Rates from January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2020
General minimum wage$15.50 per hour$15.00 per hour$14.35 per hour$14.25 per hour$14.00 per hour
Student minimum wage$14.60 per hour$14.10 per hour$13.50 per hour$13.40 per hour$13.15 per hour
Liquor servers minimum wageN/AN/A$12.55 per hour$12.45 per hour$12.20 per hour
Hunting, fishing and wilderness guides minimum wage$77.60
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day

$155.25
Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
$75.00
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day

$150.05
Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
$71.75
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day

$143.55
Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
$71.30
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day

$142.60
Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
$70.00
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day

$140.00
Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
Homeworkers wage$17.05 per hour$16.50 per hour$15.80 per hour$15.70 per hour$15.40 per hour
General minimum wage

This rate applies to most employees.

Example for calculating general minimum wage: One week, Julia works 38 hours. She is paid on a weekly basis. The minimum wage applicable to Julia is $15.50 per hour. Since compliance with the minimum wage requirements is based on pay periods, Julia must be paid at least $589.00 (38 hours × $15.50  per hour = $589.00) in this work week (prior to deductions). (Note that eating periods are not included when counting how many hours an employee works in a week).

Student minimum wage
This rate applies to students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session or work during a school break or summer holidays.
Hunting and fishing guides, wilderness guides minimum wage

The minimum wage for hunting and fishing guides and for wilderness guides is based on blocks of time instead of by the hour. They are entitled to a minimum amount for working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and a different amount for working five hours or more in a day--whether or not the hours are consecutive.

A wilderness guide is a person who is employed to guide, teach, or assist a person or people while they are engaged in with activities in a wilderness environment, including the following activities:

  • back-country skiing and snowshoeing
  • canoeing, kayaking, and rafting
  • dogsledding
  • hiking
  • horseback riding
  • rock climbing
  • operating all-terrain vehicles or snowmobiles
  • wildlife viewing
  • survival training

A wilderness guide does not include a hunting or fishing guide or a student under 18 years of age who works 28 hours each week or less or who is employed during a school holiday.

Homeworkers minimum wage
Homeworkers are employees who do paid work in their own homes. For example, they may sew clothes for a clothing manufacturer, answer telephone calls for a call centre, or write software for a high-tech company. Note that students of any age (including students under the age of 18 years) who are employed as homeworkers must be paid the homeworker’s minimum wage.

Minimum wage calculation for employees who earn commission

If an employee’s pay is based completely or partly on commission, it must amount to at least the minimum wage for each hour the employee has worked.

A typical case

Luba works on commission and has a weekly pay period. One week, she was paid $300.00 in commission and worked 25 hours. The minimum wage applicable to Luba is $15.50 an hour. The minimum wage ($15.50) multiplied by the number of hours worked in the pay period (25) is $387.50 . Luba is owed the difference between her commission pay ($300) and the required minimum wage ($387.50). Luba’s employer owes her $87.50.

Note: Where overtime hours are worked, the calculation is more complicated.

Industry-specific and job-specific exemptions and special rules may apply to some salespeople who earn commission. Please refer to the special rule tool.

How provision of room and board affects minimum wage

For the purposes of ensuring that the applicable minimum wage has been paid to an employee, an employer can take into account the provision of room and board (meals). Room and board will only be deemed to have been paid as wages if the employee has received the meals and occupied the room.

The amounts that an employer is deemed to have paid to the employee as wages for room or board or both is set out below:

  • Room (weekly)
    • private $31.70
    • non-private $15.85
    • non-private (domestic workers only) $0.00
  • Meals
    • each meal $2.55
    • weekly maximum $53.55
  • Rooms and meals (weekly)
    • with private room $85.25
    • with non-private $69.40
    • non-private (domestic workers only) $53.55
  • Harvest workers (only) weekly housing
    • serviced housing $99.35
    • unserviced housing $73.30

Employees sent home after working less than three hours: the three-hour rule

When an employee who regularly works more than three hours a day is required to report to work but works less than three hours, they must be paid whichever of the following amounts is the highest:

  • three hours at their regular rate of pay, or
  • the amount the employee earned for the time worked and wages equal to the employee’s regular wage for the remainder of the three hours.

For example, if an employee who is a liquor server is paid $15.50 an hour and works only two hours and is sent home, they are entitled to two hours at their regular rate of $15.50 an hour for the time worked (i.e., $15.50, the general minimum wage, × 2 = $31.00) plus another hour at their regular rate (i.e. the general minimum wage of $15.50 ) for a total payment of $46.50 which is $31.00 (for the time worked) + $15.50 (for the three-hour rule) = $46.50.

Note: The rule does not apply to:

  • employees whose regular shift is three hours or less
  • in some cases where the cause of the employee not being able to work at least three hours was beyond the employer’s control.

Note: As of January 1, 2019 the three-hour rule applies to students (including students over 18 years of age except if the student works:

  • at a children’s camp, unless the student is also a wilderness guide
  • providing instruction to or supervising children, unless the student is also a wilderness guide
  • in a recreational program run by a charity, unless the student is also a wilderness guide.

When the minimum wage changes

On October 1 of every year starting in 2022, the minimum wage rates may increase annually. The new rates to come into effect on October 1 will be published on or before April 1 of every year, beginning in 2022.

If a change to the minimum wage rate comes into effect partway through an employee’s pay period, the pay period will be treated as if it were two separate pay periods, and the employee will be entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies in each of those periods.

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