On October 1, 2022, the provincial minimum wage will increase from $11.81 to $13.00 per hour.
“World events continue to put upward pressure on the cost of living in Saskatchewan and across Canada,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. “Our government is committed to ensuring life is affordable for our low income residents by increasing the minimum wage over the next three years. This commitment to affordability will support Saskatchewan workers, and ensure Saskatchewan is the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”
On October 1, 2023, minimum wage will increase to $14 per hour and on October 1, 2024, it will increase to $15 per hour. This will represent a 27 per cent increase to the minimum wage by 2024.
The increases to minimum wage reflect a market adjustment, rather than using the province’s traditional indexation formula. The indexation formula gives equal weight to changes to the Consumer Price Index and Average Hourly Wage for Saskatchewan. However, for this year as well as 2023 and 2024, the increase to minimum wage will reflect a move to more closely align workers’ salaries with changing market forces.
“As we continue to grow Saskatchewan, we want to attract quality investments and jobs so that all citizens can benefit. Making this change to the minimum wage is a step in that direction,” Morgan said.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is disappointed that the Saskatchewan government both neglected to consult with the small business community before abruptly announcing plans to hike minimum wage by 27% over two and a half years and failed to announce any mitigating measures to help small businesses absorb the cost.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a budget that will see the small business corporate tax rate increase in both 2022 and 2023, along with a PST expansion that’s going to hurt many of the small businesses that were most heavily impacted by the pandemic. Small business costs are going up across the board, with SaskPower proposing rate hikes of 4.4% in both 2022 and 2023, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums going up, and the pressures of pandemic-related debt, inflation, and supply chain disruptions.
CFIB’s latest survey data shows that less than half (42%) of Saskatchewan small businesses report being back to normal, pre-pandemic sales levels. It’s unfortunate that the Saskatchewan government failed to consult with the small business community or provide any advance notice of these changes. If the government had asked, CFIB would have told them that many small businesses are not in a position to take on additional wage costs right now, and that cost-offsetting measures, such as the introduction of a youth wage and liquor server wage, would have helped mitigate the impact of today’s announcement on struggling small businesses.
In 2007 the minimum wage in the province was $7.95, and by 2024 there will have been a total increase to the rate of nearly 89 per cent.