Minimum wages

Official title: Information on labour standards - Pamphlet 2 Minimum wages, Part III of the Canada Labour Code (Labour standards)

The minimum wage for employees under federal jurisdiction is the general adult minimum wage rate established in each province and territory, as revised from time to time. Each time a province or a territory raises its minimum wage rate, the federal minimum wage rate for that province or territory is raised automatically. To enquire about the current minimum wage rate applicable in your province or territory, contact the Labour Program or consult the Labour Program website.

The following questions and answers, based on Division II of Part III of the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Labour Standards Regulations will be of interest to employers and employees under federal jurisdiction. Pamphlet 1 of this series describes the types of businesses covered by the Code. It is available from any Labour Program office or consult the Labour Program website.

1. Does the minimum wage rate apply to all employees in businesses under federal jurisdiction?

All employees except registered apprentices must be paid at least the minimum wage.

2. What are the provisions for apprentices?

An employer is exempted from the application of the minimum wage for employees who are being trained on the job if the employees are registered under and paid according to a provincial apprenticeship Act.

3. Is employment under 17 years of age permitted?

Yes. The Canada Labour Standards Regulations state that persons under the age of 17 years may be employed provided that:

  1. they are not required by provincial law to attend school;
  2. the work is not likely to endanger their health or safety;
  3. they are not required to work underground in a mine or in employment prohibited for young workers under the Explosives Regulations , the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations , or the Canada Shipping Act ; and
  4. they are not required to work between 11 p.m. on one day and 6 a.m. on the following day.

4. Is there a special minimum rate for employees under 17 years of age?

No. The rate for employees under the age of 17 is the same as for employees 17 and over. Where minimum hourly rates for a province or a territory are fixed on the basis of age, the minimum hourly rate for that province or territory is the highest of those rates.

5. Is there a special rate for students?

No. The minimum rate applies to students in the same manner as to other classes of employees.

6. Does the minimum wage rate apply to workers whose wages are calculated on a basis other than hourly?

Yes. All employees whose wages are paid on a time basis other than hourly must receive at least the equivalent of the minimum wage. Where the basis of payment is other than time, the Minister of Labour may fix a rate that is equivalent to the minimum wage.

7. Can the value of room and board provided to an employee be deducted from the minimum wage?

Yes. When room and/or board are provided by an employer and the arrangement is accepted by the employee, the employee's wages may be reduced below the minimum wage, but not by more than 50 cents per meal and 60 cents per day for lodging.

8. When an employer calls an employee to work, must wages be paid?

Yes. An employer shall pay an employee who reports for work at the call of the employer, wages for not less than three hours of work at the employee's regular rate of wages, whether or not the employee is asked to do any work after so reporting.

Related Links

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: