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Minimum Wage (History)

HISTORY OF MINIMUM WAGES PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

The Women's Minimum Wage Act was assented to on 25 March 1959.  An Act Respecting a Minimum Wage for Men received assent on 13 April 1960.  Both Acts empowered the Labour Relations Board to make Orders after conducting such investigation as it deemed necessary.

The first Order was approved by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council on 12 October 1961, and applied to waitresses and cashiers in the restaurant industry in the Summerside area being defined as within a five mile radius of the Town Hall.  For a probationary period of sixty days, the minimum wage for a 48 hour week was set at $18.00 for waitresses and $20.00 for cashiers.  On completion of the probationary period, the rate was increased to $21.00 for waitresses and $23.00 for cashiers.

On 14 December 1961, the second Order under the Act was approved by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council for waitresses or other employees in the restaurant industry in the Charlottetown area, being defined as a five mile radius of City Hall.  The minimum wage for a 48 hour week for thirty days probation was $18.00 increasing to $21.00 after the probationary period.  A provision of the Order was that no employees other than waitresses could receive less than $16.00 per week.

On 24 September 1963, an Order of the Board was approved by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council for female laundry workers in the Province setting a wage of $.50 per hour for the probationary period of thirty days increasing to $.55 after that period.

The first Order under the Men's Minimum Wage Act was made on 15 May 1963, setting a minimum wage of $.90 per hour increasing to $.95 on 1 November 1963, and to $1.00 per hour on 1 May 1964.  Food plants were given a special rate of $.80 per hour.  Exceptions to this Order included those employed in farming and fishing, those employed in the grading, bagging and packaging of potatoes on farm premises, students employed during the school year and after school hours, those under the age of 21, registered apprentices, persons whose wages were governed under the terms of a union agreement.

This Order was amended on 29 March 1966, raising the general rate to $1.10 per hour and workers in the food processing industry to $.90 per hour.

On 12 June 1968, the Women's Minimum Wage Order was revised setting out rates of $.80 per hour as of 1 July 1968; $.85 per hour as of 1 January 1969; and, $. 95 per hour on 1 July 1969, with probationary employees at $.05 per hour below the minimum for a period not to exceed thirty days.

On 1 July 1968, an Order was passed which applied to all females employed in the hotel and restaurant industry setting a minimum wage of $25.00 per week (exclusive of room and board) for a work week not to exceed fifty-four hours, and $20.00 per week (exclusive of room and board) to students for a work week not to exceed fifty-four hours.  The Order also stated that time worked in excess of fifty-four hours shall be paid at the minimum rate of $.80 per hour.  This Order became null and void on 30 September 1968.

On 1 September 1969, a Minimum Wage Order for Men became effective which quoted rates for 1 September 1969, and 1 January 1970, as follows:

  1 September 1969 1 January 1970
Potato Warehousemen $1.00  
Food Processing Employees $1.00 $1.10
All Others $1.25  


On 1 August 1970, the Minimum Wage for Men was raised to $1.25 per hour and the exceptions to the Order reduced to three

•    any person under the age of 18 years;
•    any person whose wages are fixed in labour-management contracts; and,
•    registered apprentices. 

Probationary employees may be paid a rate of $.05 per hour below the minimum for a period not to exceed thirty days and students working during vacation periods a rate of $1.00 per hour.

On 1 July 1972, the Labour Relations Board issued a new Female Minimum Rate Order, as follows:  $1.10 per hour for those 18 years of age and over; $1.00 per hour for those under 18 years and $1.00 per hour to students employed between May 15 and September 15, providing they are employed for 24 or more hours per week.  The rates quoted are for a 48 hour week.

Hours worked in excess of 48, except those employed in food processing, shall be paid one and one half times the minimum rate.

On 1 July 1973, the Employment Standards Advisory Board issued a new Minimum Wage Order and the rates are as follows:  $1.40 per hour for males 18 years and over; $1.20 for males under 18 years of age; $1.30 for females 18 years and over; and, $1.20 for females under 18 years of age.

On 1 January 1974, the Employment Standards Advisory Board issued a new Minimum Wage Order which brought both male and female workers to the same rate and those rates are as follows:  $1.65 per hour for all persons over eighteen years of age; and, $1.45 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 July 1974, the Employment Standards Advisory Board issued a new Minimum Wage Order and the rates are as follows:  $1.75 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $1.50 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 January 1975, the Employment Standards Advisory Board issued a new Minimum Wage Order and the rates are as follows:  $2.05 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $1.80 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 October 1975, the Employment Standards Advisory Board issued a new Minimum Wage Order and the rates are as follows:  $2.30 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $2.00 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 July 1976, the Employment Standards Advisory Board issued a new Minimum Wage Order and the rates are as follows:  $2.50 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $2.20 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 July 1977, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect and the rates are as follows:  $2.70 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $2.35 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On the 1 July 1977, Minimum Wage Order there was a new addition with regard to students in summer camps and recreational programs and reads as follows:

Student Rates  The Employment Standards Advisory Board may authorize the payment of wages which are less than the minimum rate to students employed in a summer camp or recreational program operated by a charitable organization.

On 1 July 1978, a new Minimum Wage Order was issued by the Employment Standards Advisory Board and the rates are as follows:  $2.75 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $2.40 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 July 1980, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect and the rates are as follows:  $3.00 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $2.50 per hour for all person under eighteen years of age.

On 1 July 1981, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect and the rates are as follows:  $3.30 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $2.80 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 October 1982, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect and the rates are as follows:  $3.75 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $3.00 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

At the present time the only persons who are exempted from this Order are registered apprentices, farm labourers as defined by the Act, persons employed for the sole purpose of protecting and caring for children in private homes, and employees of a non-profit organization who are required by the terms of their employment to live-in at a facility operated by the organization.

On 1 November 1986, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect and the rates are as follows:  $4.00 per hour for all persons eighteen years and over; and $3.25 for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 October 1988, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect and the rates are as follows:  $4.25 per hour for all persons eighteen years of age and over and $3.75 per hour for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 April 1989, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect and the rates are as follows:  $4.50 for all persons eighteen years of age and over; and $4.00 for all persons under eighteen years of age.

On 1 April 1991, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect and the rates are as follows:  $4.75 for all persons eighteen years of age and over and $4.35 for all persons under eighteen years of age.

The overtime rate effective 1 April 1991, is one and one half times the employees regular rate of pay after 48 hours per week.

On 1 January 1993, a single minimum wage rate came into effect of $4.75 per hour for all employees. 

The Standard Work Week Exemption Order effective 1 January 1993, is:

1.    (a)    Highway Construction Industry

            (i)   The standard work week for heavy equipment operators and seasonal highway construction workers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.
           
       (b)    Fish Processing Industry
           
            (i)    The standard work week for inside fish processing plant workers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.
           
            (ii)    The standard work week for outside fish processing plant workers shall be seventy-five (75) hours.
           
       (c)    Health Care Industry
           
            (i)    The standard work week for ambulance drivers and community care facility workers shall be sixty (60) hours.
           
       (d)    Trucking Industry
           
            (i)    The standard work week for truck drivers shall be seventy-five (75) hours.

The following are exemptions to the standard work week provisions of the Employment Standards Act approved by the Employment Standards Board on 26 January 1993, under Section 15 of the Act.

1.    (a)    Construction Industry

            (i)    The standard work week for heavy equipment operators and seasonal highway construction workers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.
           
            (ii)    The standard work week for employees employed by companies whose sole business is industrial sandblasting shall be sixty (60) hours.
           
       (b)    Fish Processing Industry
           
            (i)    The standard work week for inside fish processing plant workers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.
           
            (ii)    The standard work week for outside fish processing plant workers shall be seventy-five (75) hours.
           
       (c)    Health Care Industry
           
            (i)    The standard work week for ambulance drivers shall be sixty (60) hours.
           
            (ii)    The standard work week for community care facility workers shall be sixty (60) hours.
           
       (d)    Trucking Industry
        
            (i)    The standard work week for truck drivers shall be seventy-five (75) hours.

The following are exemptions to the standard work week provisions of the Employment Standards Act approved by the Employment Standards Board on 9 June 1993, under Section 15 of the Act.

1.    (a)    Construction Industry

            (i)    The standard work week for heavy equipment operators and seasonal highway construction workers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.
       
            (ii)    The standard work week for employees employed by companies whose sole business is industrial sandblasting shall be sixty (60) hours.

       (b)  Fish Processing Industry
       
            (i)    The standard work week for inside fish processing plant workers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.
       
            (ii)    The standard work week for outside fish processing plant workers shall be seventy-five (75) hours.
       
       (c)  Health Care Industry
       
            (i)    The standard work week for ambulance drivers shall be sixty (60) hours.
       
            (ii)    The standard work week for community care facility workers shall be sixty (60) hours.
       
        (d)  Trucking Industry
       
            (i)    The standard work week for truck drivers shall be seventy-five (75) hours.
       
        (e)  Peat Moss Industry
       
            (i)    The standard work week for peat moss workers shall be sixty (60) hours.


On 1 September 1997, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $5.40 per hour.

The following are exemptions to the standard work week provisions of the Employment Standards Act approved by the Employment Standards Board to take effect on 19 March 1998, under Section 15 of the Act. 

1.    (a)    Construction Industry

             (i)    The standard work week for heavy equipment operators and seasonal highway construction workers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.
             (ii)    The standard work week for employees employed by companies whose sole business is industrial sandblasting shall be sixty (60) hours.

      (b)    Fish Processing Industry

             (i)    The standard work week for inside fish processing plant workers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.
             (ii)    The standard work week for outside fish processing plant workers shall be seventy-five (75) hours.

      (c)    Trucking Industry
   
             (i)    The standard work week for truck drivers shall be fifty-five (55) hours.

      (d)    Peat Moss Industry

             (i)    The standard work week for peat moss workers shall be sixty (60) hours.

       (e)    Health Care Industry

              (i)    The standard work week for ambulance drivers shall be sixty (60) hours.
              (ii)    The standard work week for community care facility workers shall be sixty (60) hours.

              (iii)(a)    “Homemaker Services” means an organized community care service provided by qualified persons under responsible supervision to care for children when the mother is in hospital or ill or over-burdened at home, to help chronically ill, handicapped or convalescent adults, to give assistance to aged persons still capable of some self-care and to otherwise provide assistance and care in a home environment to persons who are unable to full care for themselves and their dependents.  Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the service shall assume responsibility for the household management and operation and help to protect and restore individual and family functioning; it shall serve to prevent the placement of children and adults away from their home.
                   (b)    “Day” means a period of 24 consecutive hours from the commencement of an assignment.
                   (c)    “Overtime Rate” means a rate of pay at not less than 1.5 times the wage of an employee.

(2)    The work and service to be performed by the Homemaker shall be in accordance with the regular duties and responsibilities established and specified by the Employer.

(3)    This clause applies to the Employer and Homemakers engaged on a 24-hour live-in basis who are governed by the following:

               (a)    The rate of pay shall be for 8 hours at not less than the minimum wage.
               (b)    The Homemaker shall be granted a period of at least eight hours to sleep but shall be available at any time in case of emergency.
               (c)    In addition to the hours of sleep provided in Subsection (b), the employee shall be granted 4 hours of rest each day but shall be available at any time in case of emergency.
               (d)    No deduction shall be made for board and lodging by the employer.

(4)    This clause applies to the Employer and Homemaker who are engaged on a day-to-day basis, excluding the 24-hours live-in assignments.

               (a)    In every 12 hours period a homemaker must receive at least 8 hours pay at not less than the minimum wage.
               (b)    Overtime shall be paid at the overtime rate for hours of work in excess of 12 in any day and 60 in any week.
               (c)    No deduction shall be made for board and lodging by the employer.


On 1 January 2000, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $5.60 per hour.

On 1 January 2001, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $5.80 per hour.

On 1 January 2002, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $6.00 per hour.

On 1 January 2003, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $6.25 per hour.

On 1 January 2004, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $6.50 per hour.

On 1 January 2005, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $6.80 per hour.

On 1 April 2006, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $7.15 per hour.

On 1 April 2007, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $7.50 per hour.

On 1 May 2008, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $7.75 per hour.

On 1 October 2008, a new Minimum Wage Order  came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $8.00 per hour.

On 1 May 2009, the maximum amounts that may be deducted from the wages of an employee where the employer furnishes board and lodging were increased as follows:

(a)    for board and lodging                    $56.00 per week
(b)    for board only                               $45.00 per week
(c)    for lodging only                             $25.00 per week
(d)    for single meals                            $3.75 per meal

On 1 June 2009, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $8.20 per hour.

On 24 June 2009, ambulance attendants were removed from the Standard Work Week Exemption Order.

On 1 October 2009, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $8.40 per hour.

On 1 January 2010, overtime for community care facility employees is triggered after ninety-six (96) hours worked in a two-week period.

On 1 June 2010, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $8.70 per hour.

On 1 October 2010, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $9.00 per hour.

On 1 June 2011, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $9.30 per hour.

On 1 September 2011, the Standard Work Week Exemption was amended as follows:  the standard work week for employees involved in the procurement, storage and processing for seafood processing operations shall be fifty-five (55) hours.

On 1 September 2011, the Highway Construction/Maintenance section of the Standard Work Week Exemption Order was reworded (for clarification purposes only) to read as follows: the standard work week for employees engaged in the construction, maintenance, traffic control and snow removal of highways, roads and streets shall be fifty-five (55) hours.

On 1 September 2011, peat moss workers were removed from the Standard Work Week Exemption Order.

On 1 October 2011, a new Minimum Wage Order came into effect with the minimum wage being set at $9.60 per hour.

On 1 March 2012, the sandblasting industry will be removed from the Standard Work Week Exemption Order.

On 1 April 2012, a new Minimum Wage Order will come into effect with the minimum wage being set at $10.00 per hour.
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