Ridout Barron


Alberta business law continues to increase minimum wage

There are many laws governing businesses across Canada, including many regarding compensation and treatment of employees. One business law in Alberta was recently affected as the minimum wage increased to $13.60. This is a $1.40 increase compared to the old minimum wage of $12.20. Ontario's minimum wage also saw a 20 cent increase to $11.60. Both provinces are working towards an eventual minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.

In Alberta, the minimum wage is expected to reach $15 per hour by next October. This will be an increase of 47 per cent over four years. The move to a higher minimum wage is controversial. Many Alberta businesses argue that changes to this business law forced them to adjust their operations, raise prices and cut employee hours. Ontario business advocacy groups have voiced similar concerns.

Ontario's increase to $15 per hour will be a 32 per cent jump over a two-year period. This will affect the 25 per cent of Ontario employees who currently make less than $15 per hour. Alberta has a lower percentage of earners in this bracket, with 16 per cent of employees currently making less than $15 per hour. Only 4.5 per cent of Albertans currently make minimum wage.

From taxes to employees to consumer protections, Alberta businesses have a wide variety of business law concerns. It is a good idea for business owners to seek legal guidance in order to properly understand their rights and responsibilities. Keeping up to date on the laws regulating employee compensation is important for anyone operating in Alberta, especially as minimum wage increases continue to roll out.

Source: The Globe and Mail, "Alberta and Ontario increase minimum wage as they aim for $15", Rachelle Younglai, Oct. 1, 2017

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