As always, to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance, we recommend that you discuss these upcoming changes to the Saskatchewan minimum wage with your accountant and lawyer. This article does not constitute legal advice.
What is the minimum wage in Saskatchewan for 2023, and is it going up?
There are a lot of changes afoot when it comes to wages in western Canada! As of October 1, 2022, Saskatchewan’s general minimum wage is set at $13.00/hour, which is currently $2.55 less than the federal minimum wage. On October 1, 2023, the province’s minimum wage is set to increase to $14.00/hour. Saskatchewan will further increase employee minimum wages to $15/hour on October 1, 2024. After that, the province will return to annually reviewing minimum wage requirements and make future adjustments according to the province’s consumer pricing index (CPI).
Most employees in Saskatchewan must be paid the provincial minimum wage. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For instance, employees who work in the following industries are exempt from minimum wage requirements:
- Garden labourers
- Certain in-home care providers
- Temporary (or sporadically used) babysitters
- Athletes engaged in sports
- Non-profit volunteers
- Individuals with physical or mental disabilities enrolled in certain educational or rehabilitative programs and working for non-profits or institutions
There are further important applications of minimum wage requirements in Saskatchewan. If you have questions and want to ensure you’re applying minimum wage requirements appropriately, you can download the Saskatchewan Employment Standards: Rights & Responsibilities PDF (download the PDF in French), or call Saskatchewan Employment Standards at (800) 667-1783.
Note: Federal minimum wage only applies to employees working in industries regulated by the government, such as banking and transportation. Provinces handle such things as business licence applications and setting the general minimum wage for all other industries.
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How should small business owners prepare for changes?
Minimum wage increases are great news for employees but not necessarily for business owners. If you’re worried about how upcoming changes might affect your business finances:
Audit your expenses: Check your cash flow in detail to ensure you avoid common business mistakes and create a hiring plan that you can afford. In some cases, you may find that hiring temporary workers as needed is less expensive than taking on full-time regular staff.
Make sure you hire and keep the right employees: Replacing an employee costs a lot. You decrease the total cost associated with recruiting by retaining valuable employees. Look for candidates who have good track records, come recommended, and fit in with the company culture. Once they’re onboarded, make sure you build a relationship and provide paths for your employees to grow and thrive; it makes it more likely they’ll stay in their roles.
Increase prices: Increasing prices is a great way to boost your cash flow. According to Square’s 2023 Future of Retail report, given the current economic climate, 88% of consumers say they’d understand if their favourite local business raised its prices.
Update tech: Consider automating certain aspects of the work and find ways to reduce production costs. Investing in small business team management software can help free up your time, better schedule your employees, and, best of all, is easy to learn.
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