Payment of Wages, Allowable Deductions, Minimum Wage
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No matter where you work in Canada, federal or provincial laws dictate when and how your wages are to be paid. Each province is responsible for setting a minimum wage; federal employees generally are subject to minimum wage regulations in the province in which they work.
There are also rules governing what your employer is permitted or required to deduct from your pay. Standard deductions include income taxes, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums. Additionally, an employer must make deductions ordered by a court or those you have authorized in writing.
During economic hard times, it is not unusual for workers to be done out of wages owed them when their employer goes broke. The national Wage Earner Protection Program was put in place to assist workers left unpaid when an employer goes bankrupt or is put in receivership.
Determining your rights as an employee can be a daunting task. It requires careful reading of the appropriate section(s) of legislation and corresponding regulations. In addition there are numerous exceptions and exemptions that may need to be considered. We present below general guidelines on key points, with links to some of the legislation relevant to payment of wages.
Minimum wage $12.20/hr - Oct 1, 2016
Weekly and monthly minimum wages used by certain professions will rise to $486 and $2,316, respectively, at the same time.
Minimum wage will rise a further $1.40 to $13.60 per hour on October 1, 2017, and by $1.40 to $15 per hour on October 1, 2018. Weekly and monthly rates will rise by equivalent amounts.
Further information on minimum wage in Alberta
• In Alberta, you must be paid at least monthly. However, your employer can establish shorter pay periods. Overtime and holiday pay must be paid no later than 10 days after the pay period.
• Your employer is not allowed to make deductions from your wages for such things as faulty work or cash shortages if other employees had access to the cash.
• Employees who are called in to work are entitled to a minimum payment of three hours at the minimum-wage rate.
Certain classes of employees are exempt from minimum wage.
General minimum wage
(Sept 15, 2016 -
$10.85 per hour.)
(Sept 15, 2016 - $9.60 per hour.)
Further information on minimum wage in British Columbia
• In British Columbia you must be paid at least twice a month. Wages, including holiday pay and overtime, should be paid to you within eight days from the finish of the pay period. Under no circumstances can a pay period extend beyond 16 days.
• Your employer should provide you with a statement of wages and deductions on your payday.
• Deductions from your wages for loss or damage to your employer's property are not allowed.
Minimum hourly wage: That of the province in which you work.
Further information on minimum wage under the Canada Labour Code
• Call-in pay is equivalent to a minimum of three hours at your regular wage rate regardless whether you work the whole three hours.
• Employees working under federal jurisdiction must be paid on a regular payday as determined by their employer. All wages, including overtime and statutory holiday pay, are owed you no later than 30 days from which they were earned.
• Allowable deductions from your wages are those required by provincial or federal law or by court order.
• Deductions resulting from a loss of your employer's property or money are not allowed unless you were the only employee to have access to that property or money.
Minimum wage in Manitoba is $11.00 per hour - October 1, 2015
Further information on minimum wage in Manitoba
Minimum Wage Construction Industry
Under Manitoba legislation you are entitled to be paid by your employer within 10 days of the end of the established pay period or 10 days from the end of your employment. Pay periods can be no longer than 16 days and it is a requirement that your employer pay you at least twice a month the wages you are owed. Your employer must provide you with a detailed statement of wages at the time you are given your pay. Certain deductions from your wages are permissible such as income tax, Employment Insurance and Canadian Pension premiums and any court ordered deduction. Your employer is not permitted to deduct from your wage any cost of damaged equipment or because of inferior workmanship, cash shortage or theft.
Minimum hourly wage: $11.00
Further information on minimum wage in New Brunswick (pdf)
• Your employer is required to pay you at least every 16 days. You must be paid all wages earned up to seven days prior to the established pay day.
• On each pay day, you are entitled to receive a detailed statement of wages and deductions.
• New Brunswick has a wage protection program in place.
• Upon termination, you must receive all outstanding wages, commissions, overtime and vacation pay no later than 21 days from the date your employment was terminated.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Minimum hourly wage: $10.75 - Oct 1, 2016
Further information on minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador
• In Newfoundland and Labrador you must be paid at least twice a month. Your employer has seven days from the end of a pay period to ensure all your wages for the pay period are paid.
• A detailed account of your wages and deductions should be provided with your pay.
• Deductions for such things as cash shortages or property damage are not allowed.
As of April 1, 2017, employers must pay experienced employees at least $10.85 per hour. They must pay inexperienced employees at least $10.35 for each hour of work. The minimum wage rate applies to a work week of 48 hours or less.
Further information on minimum wage in Nova Scotia
• In Nova Scotia you must be paid your wages at least twice a month and payment must take place no later than five days after the end of the pay period.
• Your employer is allowed to make deductions for damage to property or losses that can be shown to be the fault of the employee.
• Other deductions can be made, but only with your written authorization and provided they do not result in you being paid less than minimum wage.
• Complaints for non-payment of wages need to be made within six months.
$11.40/hr - October 1, 2016
Student Minimum Wage
$10.70/hr - October 1, 2016
$9.90/hr - October 1, 2016
Finally new rules concerning tips and gratuities
Further information on minimum wage in Ontario
• Employers in Ontario are required to provide workers with a regular pay period and payday, plus a detailed statement of earnings and deductions when they pay their wages.
• In the case of termination, the employer must provide all outstanding wages, overtime, vacation pay, etc., seven days after the last day of work or on the next regular payday, whichever is later.
• Your employer is not allowed to deduct anything from your wages for defective work.
• In cases where there is a loss of cash or property, your employer can make deductions from your wages only if it can be shown that you were "solely responsible" and you have given your written authorization.
Prince Edward Island
Minimum hourly wage: $11.25/hr
Further information on minimum wage in Prince Edward Island
• Pay periods in Prince Edward Island can be no longer than 16 days. Your employer must pay you all wages earned five days prior to the designated payday.
• Deductions from your wages for cash shortages are permitted if the employer can demonstrate to an inspector before the end of the pay period that you are responsible for the shortage.
Minimum hourly wage: $11.25/hr May 1,2017 ($9.45/hr for employees receiving tips)
Further information on minimum wage in Quebec
• Employers in Quebec must designate regular pay periods of no longer than 16 days.
• Employees should receive a detailed statement outlining their gross pay and any deductions.
Minimum hourly wage: $10.72
Further information on minimum wage in Saskatchewan
• If you work in Saskatchewan, your employer is required to pay wages no less than two times a month.
• You must receive your pay no later than six days following the end of the pay period.
• Your employer cannot make deductions from your wages because of cash shortages or damage to property.
• Complaints regarding non-payment of wages must be filed within one year.