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Terms of Reference

Background

Ontario’s minimum wage is set out in O. Reg. 285/01 under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and is the lowest rate an employer can pay an employee.

Between 1996 and 2003, the minimum wage in Ontario was frozen at $6.85 per hour but increased annually between 2004 and 2010. The most recent increase to $10.25 per hour took effect on March 31, 2010.

Mandate and Scope of Review

The Minimum Wage Advisory Panel (Panel) will examine Ontario’s current minimum wage policy and provide advice on an approach for determining the minimum wage in the future. It will examine the effectiveness of other jurisdictions’ minimum wage models.

Composition

The Panel will consist of a Chair and five other members, including:

  • Two (2) business representatives
  • One (1) organized labour representative
  • One (1) non-union employee representative
  • One (1) youth representative.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

1. Role of Chair

The Chair will lead meetings and consultations with input from Panel members. He/she will also report back to the Minister of Labour within six months of Royal Assent being given to Bill 65, the Prosperous and Fair Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2013 (if passed by the Legislature), with his/her report and recommendations to the government on an approach for determining the minimum wage in the future.

2. Role of Panel Members

Panel members will assist the Chair in planning meetings and consultations, identifying issues, and providing input on findings and potential options that will ultimately inform the Chair's final recommendations.

Approach

The Panel shall meet with or solicit written input from a broad range of stakeholders.

The Chair will report back to the Minister of Labour within six months of Royal Assent being given to Bill 65, the Prosperous and Fair Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2013 (if passed by the Legislature), with a written report on Ontario’s current minimum wage policy and recommendations to the Minister of Labour on an approach for determining the minimum wage in the future.

If the report is not completed within that initial six-month period, the Minister of Labour may extend the terms of the appointments and the date for completion of the report for a period not to exceed three months.

The Ministry of Labour will provide staff to support the Chair by assisting with the consultation process, conducting research, drafting of recommendations, and other related work.

Governance and Accountability

The Panel will be accountable to the Minister of Labour. The Chair will report to the Minister of Labour on such matters and at such times as the Minister may request.

The Deputy Minister of Labour or his/her designate will approve all expense claims.