Manitoba’s minimum wage to surpass $14 as of April

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The Manitoba government has introduced a bill to increase the minimum wage to $14.15 an hour as of April 1.

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The Manitoba government has introduced a bill to increase the minimum wage to $14.15 an hour as of April 1.

With inflation at a 40-year high, the Progressive Conservative government has had to work around the Minimum Wage Indexation Act of 2017, which links the annual minimum wage hike to the previous year’s inflation rate.

In 2021, the minimum wage increased by just five cents to $11.95 an hour based on Manitoba’s 2020 inflation rate of 0.5 per cent.

This year, the minimum wage was set to increase by 3.4 per cent, to $12.35 an hour, based on the 2021 inflation rate. That would’ve resulted in Manitoba having the lowest minimum wage in Canada if the PCs hadn’t passed new legislation to amend the law.

Legislation that took effect in June enables the minimum wage to be increased by an additional amount when the inflation rate in Manitoba exceeds five per cent in the first three months of the year.

In August, the province announced the hourly minimum wage would increase by 13 per cent ($1.55) to $13.50 on Oct. 1.

Friday’s bill would amend The Employment Standards Code to set the minimum wage at $14.15, effective April 1.

The government said it plans to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour on Oct. 1, 2023.

“This phased-in approach to raising the minimum wage would help relieve some of the economic pressures on Manitoba workers while lessening the impact on small businesses’ bottom lines as much as possible,” Labour Minister Reg Helwer said in a news release.

The Manitoba Federation of Labour has called for a minimum wage of $16.15 an hour immediately.

The Tories introduced a subsidy for employers. Businesses with up to 20 workers can apply for a subsidy of up to 50 cents an hour for each worker who earns the minimum wage. The subsidy expires March 31.

— Staff

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