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Manitoba Minimum Wage

December 3, 2012 - Manitoba intends to eliminate an exemption allowing employees with disabilities to be paid less than the minimum wage, according to Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for persons with disabilities:

This change is the result of extensive discussions with disability rights organizations and will ensure that persons with disabilities are treated fairly in the workplace, and that our work is equally valued. This is another step in Manitoba's commitment to respond to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."

The proposed amendment will end the issue of permits allowing employees to be paid below minimum wage, based on a physical or mental disability. Currently there are fewer than 20 permits in place and those will be allowed to continue, based on consultations with the individuals and their families. In the mid-1990s, more than 200 such exemptions were granted.

Both the repeal of the provision and the recommendation that permits already in effect be allowed to continue were reviewed and unanimously supported by the Labour Management Review Committee - a body composed of worker and business representatives.

Jennifer Howard added:

The amendments are part of our much broader goal to achieve full and equal inclusion of persons with disabilities in Manitoba's labour force. We estimate Manitoba's labour force will need 75,000 additional workers over the next eight years and persons with disabilities are one of several groups we know can help meet our future labour market needs."

Minimum Wage Increase Oct 1 2012

Manitoba's minimum wage increased by 25 cents to $10.25 an hour on October 1, 2012. Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard said:

"We continue to boost the purchasing power of minimum-wage earners and this move can also benefit business as it helps attract and keep workers. We have one of the most robust labour markets in the country, revenues continue to rise in many sectors, including restaurant and retail, and increasing the minimum wage has not hurt employment."

The minimum wage rate was previously increased by 50 cents to $10 per hour on October 1 1, 2011. That followed an increase of 50 cents on October 1 1, 2010.

The latest increase places Manitoba just above the average Canadian minimum hourly wage. Seven other jurisdictions have announced increases in their minimum wage for 2012.

Jennifer Howard said:

"In addition to minimum wage increases, the Manitoba government is making changes that will help keep more income in workers' pockets. The amount of income a person can earn before they start paying income tax is being increased by $1,000 over four years, reaching $9,134 in 2014."

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