- What is the difference between a living wage and a minimum wage?
- But there is already a minimum wage, why do we need a living wage?
- Who are the lowest-paid workers?
A living wage is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the legal minimum all employers must pay. The living wage sets a higher test.
- The minimum wage is the same across the province. Living wage reflects what people need to earn to cover the actual costs of living in their community.
- The minimum wage is mandatory for many occupations. The living wage is a voluntary commitment of employers to go beyond the minimum standard and pay enough for employees to cover their expenses and participate in community.
- For years the minimum wage has been too low to lift even someone working full-time, full-year above the poverty line. The living wage is based on the principle that if you work full-time, full-year you should earn enough to make ends make and participate in your community.
The minimum wage is the same across the province. Living wage reflects what people need to earn to cover the actual costs of living in their community.
For years the minimum wage has been too low to lift even someone who is employed full-time above the poverty line. The living wage is based on the principle that if you work full-time, full-year you should earn enough to make ends meet and participate in your community.
Mostly people who are just entering the workforce right?
Perceptions about what kind of worker occupies the lowest wage levels tend to be from another, possibly fictional time in the distant past. When we look at the reality today, we see a different story.
"Ontario Needs a Raise - Who Benefits From a $15 Minimum Wage?" A Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report by senior economist David Macdonald, took a look at who earns minimum wage in Ontario in 2017:
Had a $15 minimum wage been in place for the first six months of 2017, 23% of Ontarians—27% of women, 19% of men—would have received a raise. But understanding how that benefit would be distributed requires a closer look at Ontario’s workforce.
Although nearly all teenagers would see a raise, this represents a small proportion—18%—of the overall group of low-wage workers who would benefit. In fact, 15% of workers getting a raise are over 55.
Put another way, if you’re getting a raise you’re as likely to be a baby boomer as a teenager. While most Ontarians have permanent jobs, although not necessarily full-time, those in non-permanent jobs who are working casual, contract or seasonal work would see a significant gain from a $15 minimum wage. Half of seasonal workers, a third of contract workers, and 57% of casual workers would see their wages rise.