Quebec unveils planned minimum wage increases

Published December 19, 2019

Quebec’s labour minister, Jean Boulet, has announced that the province’s hourly minimum wage will increase by 60 cents to $13.10 on May 1, 2020. This will bring the minimum wage close to 50 per cent of the province’s average wage.

The Quebec government used to unveil upcoming minimum wage increases in January, but thanks to advocacy from Restaurants Canada and other industry allies, more advance notice is now being provided. This will give businesses more time to prepare for the change.

The planned increase to the hourly minimum wage is in line with the Quebec government’s official policy since 2016 to bring the minimum wage to 50 per cent of the province’s average wage. This formula has been applied by both Liberals and the Coalition Avenir Québec over the last few years.

While the upcoming 4.8 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 been skyrocketing: In 2019, the average hourly wage in the province grew about 4.3 per cent to nearly $26.25.

The hourly wage for workers who earn tips and gratuities will also rise on May 1, increasing by 40 cents to $10.45, representing a 3.9 per cent hike. This is in line with the province’s commitment to maintain a gap of about 20 per cent between the regular hourly minimum wage and the wage for workers who earn tips and gratuities.

As the province’s overall wages continue to grow, businesses will need to remain prepared for the government to continue making proportional increases to the regular hourly minimum wage and the wage for workers who earn tips and gratuities in the years to come.

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.

Marlee Wasser

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