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Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan: 2024 Updates

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Saskatchewan has the lowest minimum wage in Canada at $14 per hour as of October 2023. However, the province also has a relatively low cost of living compared to other parts of the country.

This article will take an in-depth look at minimum wage in Saskatchewan, including the current rate, historical increases, how rates are calculated, perspectives from different groups, and more.

Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan in 2024

The current general minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $14 per hour. This rate was enacted on October 1, 2023, marking a $1 increase from the previous $13 per hour rate.

Most province employees are entitled to earn at least the minimum wage for each hour worked. Some exemptions will be covered later.

However, it’s important to note that Saskatchewan’s cost of living is also among the lowest in Canada.

Average housing prices in Saskatchewan cities are around $330,800, which is approximately 52% below the national average housing price of $685,809 (Source). This helps offset the lower minimum wage to some degree in terms of overall affordability.

Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan in 2024
Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan in 2024

The Saskatchewan government has committed to raising the general minimum wage to $15 per hour, effective October 1, 2024. This will finally align the province with rates in other parts of Canada.

Once the $15 minimum wage is implemented, the plan will return to the previous practice of annual review and adjustment based on a formula tied to the Consumer Price Index and average hourly wage growth in Saskatchewan (more details in the next section).

Some labour groups have criticized this planned timeline of $15 per hour as too slow. However, business interests have warned against implementing sharp minimum wage hikes too quickly in the name of competitiveness and reducing cost pressures. This is a contentious issue with plausible arguments on both sides.

Source: https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/compensation-and-benefits/province-increasing-minimum-wage-in-october/387121

How Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan Are Calculated

Saskatchewan determines minimum wage rate changes using an indexation formula that gives equal weight to two key economic indicators:

  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures inflation and price changes for consumers, serving as an indicator of the overall cost of living. A higher CPI signals upward pressure on living expenses.
  • Average Hourly Wage (AHW): The AHW tracks general wage growth across all employees in Saskatchewan, helping account for broader labour market conditions.

This formula is calculated each year, and the result is typically rounded to the nearest five cents. The new minimum wage rate will be announced by June 30 and take effect October 1 for the following year.

Minimum Wage Exemptions in Saskatchewan

While most employees in Saskatchewan are entitled to the full legislated minimum wage, there are some exemptions.

The following groups are not subject to the general minimum wage rules:

  • Farm workers include farming, ranching, market labourers, and garden labourers.
  • Babysitters – Exemption applies only to temporary, sporadic, or part-time babysitters.
  • Athletes – Those engaged in amateur athletic activities.
  • Non-profit volunteers – Volunteers working for registered non-profit organizations.
  • People with disabilities – Applies only to specific rehab or training programs run by non-profits or institutions.

These groups account for a relatively small fraction of the workforce. However, employers should be aware of cases where paying below the general minimum wage may be permissible.

Different Perspectives on the Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan

Different Perspectives on the Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan
Different Perspectives on the Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan

There is an active debate among stakeholders regarding the minimum wage policy in Saskatchewan.

Labor Groups

Labour groups like the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) have argued that minimum wage hikes should be occurring more quickly. The SFL has called for an accelerated path to the $15 minimum wage in 2024 rather than staggered increases. They also want future rates tied to the cost of living after $15 is reached.

These groups generally argue that the minimum wage should provide a “living wage” sufficient to afford reasonable living costs. Rates below this level leave full-time workers struggling.

Government Perspective

The Saskatchewan government has argued that the minimum wage increases will support workers while maintaining a competitive business environment. The Minister of Labour Relations stated that the goal is to balance the needs of both employees and employers.

The government has emphasized that the minimum wage is just one policy lever that helps low-income residents. Others include basic tax exemptions, child benefits, and income support.

Business Interests

Business advocacy groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business have warned that sharp minimum wage hikes could hurt job creation or force cost cutting.

However, surveys indicate that most customers are willing to accept minor price increases in exchange for better wages. This may ease pressures on businesses somewhat.

The minimum wage debate involves balancing worker living standards and corporate costs. Both sides have reasonable arguments, and the optimal policy is likely somewhere in the middle.

Minimum Wage vs. Living Wage in Saskatchewan

When evaluating the minimum wage’s adequacy, it is useful to compare it to the concept of a “living wage.”

The living wage is the hourly pay rate needed to cover basic family expenses within a community. It is calculated based on the actual living costs for different household types.

Recent living wage estimates for Saskatchewan are considerably higher than the current minimum wage:

  • Regina living wage: $17.90 per hour
  • Saskatoon living wage: $18.95 per hour

Source: https://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/sask-minimum-wage-increasing-to-15-per-hour-still-lowest-among-provinces

Minimum Wage vs. Living Wage

LocationMinimum WageLiving Wage
Regina$14.00/hour$17.90/hour
Saskatoon$14.00/hour$18.95/hour

This suggests that while the minimum wage provides a legally mandated baseline, it falls well short of the pay needed to reasonably get by and participate in society in major cities.

Youth Employment and Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan

There are special regulations around minimum wage and youth employment in Saskatchewan for workers aged 14-15:

  • Must complete the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course
  • No limits on hours worked during school breaks
  • Max 16 hours per week during school term
  • Prohibited from working in specific industries like construction and mining

Here is a summary of the youth employment rules in Saskatchewan:

RuleDescription
Minimum Age14 years old
Hours – School BreaksNo limits
Hours – School TermMaximum 16 hours per week
Prohibited IndustriesConstruction, mining, etc.
CertificationMust complete the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course

Additionally, the general minimum employment age in Saskatchewan is 16 years old. There are also industry restrictions for workers under the age of 18.

These special regulations help protect young people while also providing opportunities to gain job experience.

Source: https://loanscanada.ca/minimum-wage/saskatchewan/

Minimum wage in Saskatchewan – Key Takeaways

To summarize key facts:

  • Saskatchewan currently has the lowest minimum wage in Canada ($14/hour).
  • The minimum wage will rise to $15/hour on October 1, 2024.
  • After 2024, rates will be indexed to CPI and wage growth.
  • Labour groups argue increases should be faster and tied to living costs.
  • Business interests caution against sharp hikes.
  • Living wage estimates are above $17 per hour in major cities.
  • Special rules apply to youth workers.

Looking forward, the minimum wage will likely continue to be a hot topic in Saskatchewan, with debate over the rate and timing of increases. The province will need to find a middle ground that supports lower-income earners while also maintaining a competitive business environment.

Canada’s minimum wage is set at the provincial/territorial level by local governments. These local minimum wages apply to businesses regulated by the province or territory and are influenced by factors such as average income, cost of living, and economic health in the region. As a result, the minimum wage in Canada can vary significantly between different provinces and territories at any given time.

What is the current minimum wage in Saskatchewan?

The current minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $14 per hour as of October 1, 2023.

How is the minimum wage determined in Saskatchewan?

Saskatchewan uses an indexation formula to determine minimum wage increases each year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Average Hourly Wage (50% weight each).

When will the minimum wage increase in Saskatchewan?

The minimum wage in Saskatchewan will increase to $15 per hour on October 1, 2024. After that, the rate will be reviewed annually.

Who sets the minimum wage in Saskatchewan?

The minimum wage in Saskatchewan is set by the provincial government under employment standards legislation. It applies to most employees.

Are there any exemptions to the minimum wage in Saskatchewan?

Yes, there are some exemptions including farm workers, babysitters, non-profit volunteers, athletes, and people with disabilities in certain programs.

Is the minimum wage a living wage in Saskatchewan?

No, recent living wage calculations estimate $17.90/hour is needed in Regina and $18.95/hour in Saskatoon to afford reasonable living costs.

Does the minimum wage apply to youth workers in Saskatchewan?

Yes, but there are special rules. 14-15 year olds can work with restrictions on hours and industries. The general minimum work age is 16.

What was the minimum wage in Saskatchewan in 2022?

The minimum wage in Saskatchewan was $11.81 per hour in 2022.

Does Saskatchewan have the lowest minimum wage in Canada?

Yes, Saskatchewan currently has the lowest minimum wage across all provinces at $14 per hour as of 2023.

Does overtime need to be paid at minimum wage in Saskatchewan?

Yes, overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the regular minimum wage rate.

Article Sources

At Ebsource, our team takes great care to uphold standards of transparency by referencing reputable sources in all our reporting. This enables us to deliver unbiased insights you can trust. View the links below to validate the facts in this article.

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