Canada: Increase to the Federal Minimum Wage, Increase of Paid Sick Leave, Ontario Wage Increases

January 18, 2022
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From December 29, 2021, the minimum wage for the federally regulated private sector will increase to $15.00 per hour. Some of the sectors impacted include:

  • banks
  • postal and courier services
  • telecommunications
  • most federal agencies.

The government will adjust the federal minimum wage every April to address inflation.

Employers in these industry groups should note that impacted employees earning a provincial or territorial minimum wage greater than $15.00 per hour are entitled to the higher wage rate.

British Columbia: Introduction of 5 Paid Sick Days

From January 1, 2022, employees in British Columbia have access to 5 paid sick days per year. To be eligible, employees must be covered by British Columbia’s Employment Standards Act, and they must have worked for their employers for a minimum of 90 days.

Employees will now have up to 8 days of sick leave per year in total: 5 paid days and 3 unpaid days to be used for illness or injury. These days will not carry over to future years, and employers may request “reasonably sufficient proof of illness.” Though employers are entitled to request proof of illness, in some circumstances, the request may not be reasonable.

The reasonableness of a request can be assessed based on:

  • the duration of the employee’s absence
  • a pattern of absences
  • the availability of the proof
  • the cost associated with the proof.

In cases where the employer’s request is not reasonable, the employee might not have to provide proof of illness.

British Columbia employers should also note the following:

  • Full-time, part-time, temporary, and casual employees are covered by the Employment Standards Act and may be eligible for these sick days.
  • Employees are not required to take these sick days consecutively.
  • Employees must be paid an average day’s pay during their sick leave. To calculate the average, employers must use the 30 calendar days leading up to the first sick day.

Ontario: Increase to the Minimum Wage

From January 1, 2022, the following increases apply.


Source: GPA

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