October 16, 2023 By Elizabeth Bate
TORONTO, Ont. — A long-awaited increase to Ontario’s minimum wage went into effect on Oct. 1.
The increase will see more than 900,000 Ontario workers get a boost of $1.05 per hour, increasing their rate to $16.65 per hour from the previous $15.50. The government estimates the increase of 6.8 per cent will mean an average of $2,200 more in workers’ pockets annually.
The wage increase comes as the country continues to recover from record high inflation and housing prices, as well as labour shortages.
The act implementing the wage increase also contained other changes to Ontario labour laws, including making women’s only washrooms mandatory on all construction sites, and ensuring that personal protective equipment (PPE) that fits is available for all genders and body types.
Women represent one in ten construction workers in Ontario.
The requirement to have at least one women’s-only washroom on jobsites and properly fitting equipment such as uniforms, boots and safety harnesses came into effect July 1, 2023.
In a release, Premier Ford indicated further changes would be coming to Ontario’s labour laws, saying, “I will be introducing more legislation as part of our plan to make Ontario the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.”
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