On June 16, the Chamber submitted its recommendations to the provincial Employment Standards Board’s Annual Minimum Wage Rate Review on behalf of our members.

Recommendations to the Employment Standard Board included that the provincial government:

  1. That the provincial government mandate that a notice of a minimum wage rate change be given no later than six months before a scheduled increase.
  2. That the provincial government set its desired minimum wage target, and once the target is achieved, begin to tie future minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index.
  3. That the provincial government tie subsequent Basic Personal Amount increases to the Consumer Price Index.
  4. That the provincial government implement a more competitive rate for its lowest tax bracket.
  5. That the provincial government implement a personal income tax indexing system to prevent inflationary bracket creep.

Click here to view and download a copy of the submission.

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Prior to this submission, our Chamber issued a Quick Poll to members on the topic of minimum wage to inform our submission.

Over 75% of poll respondents were the owners or CEOs of their business. Respondents had anywhere from one employee all the way up to over 500 employees – though the majority of respondents have between one to five employees.

Over 67% of respondents said all their staff is paid higher than minimum wage, while almost 11% said less than ten percent of their staff is paid minimum wage. Over 15% of respondents said more than ten percent of their staff is paid minimum wage.

In response to minimum wage increasing to $15/hour in October, respondents are making the following changes:

  • Almost 33% of respondents are increasing other staff wages to maintain internal equity.
  • Just over 26% of respondents are increasing pricing.
  • Over 15% are decreasing staffing.

About 26% of respondents say it will severely impact their business if the minimum wage were to increase above $15/hour, while 34% say it would somewhat impact their business.

If minimum wage were to increase above $15/hour, respondents say they would make the following challenges:

  • Almost 50% would increase pricing.
  • 35% of respondents would increase other staff wages to maintain internal equity.
  • 15% would decrease staffing.
  • Over 13% would reduce hours of operation.
  • Three respondents said they would have to close their business due to the costs.
  • 17% said they would make no change (respondents mainly were in the professional services sector).