On Jan. 30, Quebec’s labour minister, Jean Boulet, announced the province’s hourly minimum wage will increase from $12 to $12.50 as of May 1.
This announcement is in line with the campaign promise that the Coalition Avenir Québec made to gradually raise the minimum wage year by year.
While this 4.17 per cent wage hike goes beyond recent increases to the consumer price index, it reflects the current realities of the province’s economy, which is being greatly impacted by ongoing labour shortages. With wages increasing across the board in most industries, including foodservice, the average wage has taken a substantive leap.
In 2018, the average hourly wage in the province was $24.92. After announcing the planned increase to $12.50 per hour, Boulet told reporters this will lift the minimum wage to 50 per cent of the average hourly wage for the first time in provincial history. He said the government intends to continue meeting that target.
Wages for workers who receive tips will increase by $0.25 per hour, bringing their hourly wage to $10.05. This lesser increase will widen the gap between the hourly minimum wage for workers who do and do not receive tips from 19.3 per cent to 20 per cent. Restaurants Canada has long advocated for this, as a larger divide between these wage types is fairer for back-of-house workers and can help restaurateurs improve retention of kitchen staff.
The Quebec government estimates that the upcoming minimum wage increases will benefit 288,200 workers.
Restaurants Canada welcomes these reasonable increases, which are in line with recommendations we recently made to the labor minister’s office. In our next pre-budget submission, Restaurants Canada will continue to advocate for fiscal measures to offset minimum wage increases, such as payroll tax reductions and leaving more money in employees’ pockets so that their overall disposable income increases.
If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec, at DLefebvre@restaurantscanada.org.