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Minimum wage and 'room & board'

Every province and territory sets their own minimum wage. Even if employees are federal, the general adult minimum wage is still set under the province or territory in which the employee resides and is employed.

Current minimum wage for provinces and territories in Canada

The provinces and territories set out their minimum wage on a yearly basis. Be advised that minimum wages are often reviewed yearly by the provinces and territories and usually rise. Some provinces raise the minimum wage automatically as per the consumer price index for Canada.

Room and board

Most provinces and territories allow for employees to be paid in room and board. However, where it is permitted there are regulations that employees are not be deducted for room and board above certain amounts.

Every province and territory, which allow for room and board deductions from pay have their own limits.

For example, Nova Scotia has a minimum wage order that informs how much employers are allowed to deduct from an employee’s minimum wage for board and lodgings. The amounts in 2016 are:

  • For board and lodging for each week: $68.20
  • For board only for each week: $55.55
  • For lodging only for each week: $15.45
  • For a single meal: $3.65

In British Columbia, if the employer deducts room and board from the employee’s wages, in 2016 this amount cannot be above $325 per month (subject to change). Another requirement to deducting for room and board is that the employee has to agree to this arrangement in writing.

In Ontario, there is a more specific formula for calculating room and board allowed to be deducted from the employee’s pay. For 2016 they are:

  • Room (weekly)
    • Private $31.70
    • Non-private $15.85
    • Non-private (domestic workers only) $0.00
  • Meals
    • Each meal $2.55
    • Weekly maximum $53.55
  • Rooms and meals (weekly)
    • With private room $85.25
    • With non-private $69.40
    • Non-private (domestic workers only) $53.55
  • Harvest workers (only) weekly housing
    • Serviced housing $99.35
    • Unserviced housing $73.30

Read more:

Current And Forthcoming Minimum Hourly Wage Rates For Experienced Adult Workers in Canada

Minimum Wage Nova Scotia