Historically, Saskatchewan has had the lowest minimum wage in Canada. Compared to its neighbours, Saskatchewan’s minimum wage has always been at least a dollar or two less.
Currently, the minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $13 per hour. There are also plans to increase the minimum wage in the future.
Below, I’ll explain the minimum wage increase in Saskatchewan and go over a few of the exceptions to this rule.
What Is The Minimum Wage In Saskatchewan?
On October 1, 2022, the province of Saskatchewan moved to increase the minimum wage from $11.81 per hour to an even $13 per hour.
While Saskatchewan may have the lowest minimum wage in the country, the province is also one of the cheapest to live in.
For example, in August 2022, the average home in Saskatchewan sold for just $283,792 compared to homes in the neighbouring province of Alberta that sold for an average of $423,879.
Saskatchewan doesn’t increase its minimum wages often and has only done so recently in response to the drastic economic change.
Whenever the province plans on increasing the minimum wage, the changes will be announced in June, followed by an enactment date of October 1st.
This gives Saskatchewan businesses three months to prepare for the change so that there aren’t any hiccups.
Regina is the capital city of Saskatchewan and has a steadily growing population of 228,929 and counting. There are currently over 23,000 small businesses in the Regina Metropolitan Area (RMA) as well.
Regina follows the same minimum wage laws as the rest of the province, and employers must pay employees at least $13 per hour.
Unlike its neighbouring province, Alberta, Saskatchewan announced plans to steadily increase the provincial minimum wage over the next few years. Here’s how you can expect the minimum wage in Saskatchewan to increase in the future:
- October 1st, 2023 – $14 per hour
- October 1st, 2024 – $15 per hour
At this rate, Saskatchewan will be on par with its neighbouring provinces by the end of 2024 (assuming that neighbouring provinces don’t increase their prospective minimum wage laws).
The $13 minimum hourly wage in Saskatchewan applies to the majority of workers in Canada. Some of the exceptions include:
- Federal workers
- Holiday workers
- Farmers & ranchers
- Temporary/sporadic babysitters
I’ll go over each of these exceptions below so you have a better understanding of what to expect.
On April 1, 2022, the federal government elected to increase the federal minimum wage from $15 per hour to $15.55 per hour. The federal minimum wage applies to all federal workers, regardless of the provincial minimum wage laws.
Examples of federal workers in Saskatchewan include:
- Postal workers
- Banks (which are federally regulated)
- Federal government employees working within Saskatchewan
Despite the relatively low provincial minimum wage, all federal employees or employers who work for federally-regulated businesses must be paid at least $15.55 per hour.
Any employee who is asked to come into work on-call or who is scheduled to work must be paid for at least three hours’ worth of work, even if they’re sent home early. This is referred to as duty pay.
For example, if you’re scheduled to work for eight hours, and you’re sent home after one hour, you’ll still be entitled to two additional hours of pay.
If you’re asked to work on a public holiday, employers must pay their employees at least 1.5x their usual hourly wage. For example, if you typically earn $15 per hour, then you must be paid at least $22.50 per hour if you’re asked to work on a public holiday.
Farm, ranch, and garden workers do not have to be paid minimum wage. The government of Saskatchewan’s official website doesn’t offer any minimum wage laws regarding farm and ranch workers, though. It only states that they’re exempt from minimum wage laws.
Most babysitters should be paid at least $13 per hour. The exception to this rule are babysitters who work sporadically or who are only employed for a brief period of time.
For example, if you have an in-house babysitter who works 20 hours per week for you, they’re entitled to minimum wage. However, if you ask your neighbour to babysit for a few hours, you don’t have to pay them minimum wage.
Interestingly enough, athletes are not required to be paid minimum wage while they’re playing. I’m guessing that this rule applies more to lower-level sports, though. To my knowledge, most of the professional athletes in Saskatchewan are paid fairly.
If you’re volunteering for a non-profit organization, it goes without saying that you aren’t required to be paid minimum wage. If you’re an employee, that’s a different story. However, volunteers are just that – volunteers.
Physically or mentally disabled individuals who work for a non-profit organization or are employed through a vocal/educational rehabilitation program are not required to be paid minimum wage.
Overtime pay is considered to be 1.5x the employee’s standard pay. In Saskatchewan, overtime means that you’ve worked more than eight consecutive hours in a day or more than forty hours in a week.
The minimum wage tax rate in Saskatchewan is just 10.5% for anybody earning $46,773.
This, combined with the relatively high basic personal amount of $16,615, means that minimum wage workers get to keep a fair cut of their paycheque before they’re required to pay income tax.
Despite this, it may still be difficult to live on minimum wage in Saskatchewan unless you’re an expert at budgeting.
If you want to start saving more money, then keep on reading to see my list of the best budgeting apps in Canada!