On January 19, the Government of Québec introduced its policy on minimum wage increases for the next four years.
Labour Minister Dominique Vien announced a 50-cent increase, effective May 1, 2017, thus raising the minimum wage to $11.25/hour, as well as a gradual increase that will make it equivalent to 50% of the average hourly wage (without exceeding it) by 2020. Since 2002, the ratio for minimum wage has been between 45% and 47% of the average hourly wage. The government expects to see minimum wage reach $12.45 by 2020.
While Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão suggested that mitigation measures might be implemented in certain sectors, nothing will be confirmed before the next budget.
This new policy is a response to increasingly vocal groups that have been demanding that minimum wage be raised to $15/hour. However it is expected that the pressure from labour groups and the Parti Québécois will continue as they included this element in their policy.
While the increase announced on Thursday is higher than inflation, the government has nevertheless responded in part to a request made repeatedly by RCC and its members, namely for a defined framework for increases in minimum wage.
Link to the government’s press release (in French only): http://www.fil-information.gouv.qc.ca/Pages/Article.aspx?aiguillage=ajd&type=1&idArticle=2501195313
Link to the RCC press release (in French only): http://bit.ly/2jDJo2m
RCC intends to work with the government to assess the impacts of the upcoming increases on retail jobs and to optimize potential mitigation measures.