The minimum wage is set under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). This section will explain the basics of minimum wage in Ontario, including different minimum wages for different jobs.
- What is minimum wage?
- Who gets minimum wage?
- Does everyone get the same minimum wage per hour?
- What are the minimum wages for different jobs?
- How does the minimum wage apply to employees who earn commission?
- What amounts are allowed for room and board?
- Are deductions allowed?
- What happens if I go into work but I'm sent home after working less than three hours?
- What if I think my employer is not following the ESA?
- Can I see the ESA?
| What is minimum wage?
Minimum wage is the lowest rate an employer can pay an employee.
| Who gets minimum wage?
Most employees are entitled to at least the minimum wage, whether they are full-time, part-time or casual employees, or are paid an hourly rate, commission, piece rate, flat rate or salary.
There are exceptions. Please refer to Is my job covered? for details about industry-specific and job-specific exemptions, and special rules regarding minimum wage.
| Does everyone get the same minimum wage per hour?
No. There is a general minimum wage that applies to most employees. But there are other minimum wages that apply to:
- students under 18 years of age who work during school breaks, including summer holidays, or who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session
- liquor servers - employees who regularly serve liquor directly to customers or guests in licensed premises
- homeworkers - workers who do paid work in their own homes. For example, they may sew clothes for a clothing manufacturer, answer telephone calls for a call centre, or write software for a high-tech company.
- hunting and fishing guides.
| What are the minimum wages for different jobs?
For the current minimum wage rates, please visit Ontario.ca/minimumwage.
| How does the minimum wage apply to employees who earn commission?
If an employee's pay is based completely or partly on commission, it must average out to at least the minimum wage for each hour the employee has worked.
Industry-specific and job-specific exemptions and special rules may apply to some salespeople who earn commission. Please refer to the Special Rule Tool (available at Ontario.ca/ESAtools)for details.
| What amounts are allowed for room and board?
If the employer provides room and or board (meals), a certain amount will be considered (or "deemed") to have been paid as wages for the purpose of determining whether minimum wage has been paid, as set out below. Room and board (meals) are not considered to have been paid as wages unless you occupied the room and received the meals.
- private $31.70
- non-private $15.85
- non-private (domestic workers only) $0.00
Room and meals (weekly)
- each meal $2.55
- weekly maximum $53.55
Fruit, vegetable and tobacco harvest workers (only) weekly housing
- with private room $85.25
- with non-private $69.40
- non-private (domestic workers only) $53.55
- serviced housing $99.35
- unserviced housing $73.30
If an employee is paid more than the minimum wage, the employer can charge the employee more than these amounts. For this to happen, an employer must have a written authorization from the employee.
| Are deductions allowed?
An employer can make certain deductions from employee wages. They are:
- statutory deductions (like income tax and employment insurance premiums)
- deductions for fees payable under the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Act, 2006
- deductions where there is a court order
- certain deductions made with the employee's written authorization.
Please see Pay for more details.
| What happens if I go into work but I'm sent home after working less than three hours?
If you regularly work more than three hours a day and you are required to report to work, but work less than three hours, you must be paid whichever of the following amounts is the highest:
- three hours at the minimum wage
- the employee's regular wage for the time worked.
You should note, however, that this rule doesn't apply to:
- students (including students 18 years of age and over)
- employees whose regular shift is three hours or less.
- situations where work stops because of certain types of causes beyond the employer's control, such as a fire or power failure.
| What if I think my employer is not following the ESA?
What if I think my employer is not following the ESA?
| Can I see the ESA?
Employment Standards Act, 2000