Quebecers earning minimum wage will be receiving a pay increase of 60 cents as of May 1, to reach $13.10, the provincial government announced on Wednesday April 15. This was in a bid to deliver on the promise it made on December 18, 2019 to increase the minimum wage in order to boost the purchasing power of low-income earners.
The government stated that this 4.8 per cent increase will make it possible to reach the target ratio of 50% between the general minimum wage rate and the average hourly wage for 2020-21.
The minimum wage for employees who receive tips, like service workers, will be raised to $10.45 an hour, representing an increase of 40 cents.
The wage for employees who pick raspberries and strawberries will be $3.89 and $1.04 per kilogram, respectively. That’s an 18-cent increase for raspberries and a five-cent increase for strawberries.
Jean Boulet, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, says these changes will benefit 409,100 people in Quebec, 235,700 of which are women. Boulet also thinks this gesture will help Quebec’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry noted that the increase is part of its 2019-2023 strategic plan to contribute to satisfactory employment conditions and harmonious working relations.
However, not all quarters have received the news with enthusiasm, coming in the middle of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said in a statement that the hike could add extra pressure to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Michel Leblanc head of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is quoted as saying: “With Quebec having lost 264,000 jobs in March as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, perhaps the government could have pushed this back by a few months. Many smaller companies already have cash flow problems and higher labour costs could make them reassess their plans to rehire when this is over.”