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  • Winnipeg Tribune


Monday, May 30, 2022 - The Manitoba government is introducing legislation that would allow larger increases to the provincial minimum wage, given current uncertain and challenging global economic conditions as employees and employers struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services Minister Reg Helwer announced Monday.

“Our government is committed to making life more affordable for Manitobans,” said Helwer. “This legislation would make critical changes to the Employment Standards Code to permit larger increases to the provincial minimum wage under certain economic conditions.”

Bill 44, the Employment Standards Code amendment act (minimum wage), would allow cabinet to mandate a larger increase to the minimum wage when inflation in Manitoba, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, exceeds five per cent in the first quarter of a calendar year.

Under current regulations of the Employment Standards Code, Manitoba’s minimum hourly wage is set to increase by 40 cents to $12.35 on Oct. 1. The proposed legislation would allow cabinet to authorize a larger increase. Any increases authorized would continue to come into effect on or after Oct. 1.

Currently, the Employment Standards Code regulates increases to Manitoba’s minimum wage rate. Annual increases are indexed to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Each year on Oct. 1, the minimum wage is adjusted in proportion to the change in the previous year’s inflation. While this approach to tying predictable increases to inflation works well under more normal economic conditions, the minister noted the government requires flexibility under extraordinary economic conditions to consider additional adjustments.

“This change would provide much-needed support to hard-working Manitobans who have been burdened by soaring cost-of-living increases,” said Helwer. “Manitobans have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and this legislation would relieve some of the financial strain they are experiencing due to rising food and fuel prices.”

This legislative amendment strikes an appropriate and workable balance for employers and employees in Manitoba who continue to struggle to recover from the challenging economic conditions brought about by the pandemic, the minister added.


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