What is the Minimum Wage in Canada for Students?

The minimum wage is the lowest hourly pay an employer can legally pay an employee whether they work part-time or full-time.

The first minimum wage rates and legislation were established in Canada in the early 20 century and applied primarily to women and children.

Manitoba and British Columbia introduced minimum wage legislation in 1918 and Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan followed suit in 1920.

Prince Edward Island was the last province to pass minimum wage legislation covering both men and women, which it did in 1960.

Under the legislation, each Canadian province and territory determines the minimum wage for employees and has different labour standards.

In previous years, the federal government set its minimum wage rates for federal jurisdiction industries workers. However, this took a new turn in 1996.

The federal minimum wage changed to the general adult minimum wage rate of the province or territory the work is done.

Minimum Wage Per Hour in Canada for Students by Province

Here is a tabular data showing student wages in Canada per hour in each province: 

   
PROVINCE   
   
MINIMUM WAGE (In CAD/Hour)   
   
Alberta   
   
$13.00   
   
British Columbia   
   
$15.20   
   
Saskatchewan   
   
$11.81   
   
Manitoba   
   
$11.95   
   
Ontario   
   
$13.50   
   
Québec   
   
$13.50   
   
New Brunswick   
   
$11.75   
   
Nova Scotia   
   
$12.95   
   
Prince Edward Island   
   
$13.00   
   
Newfoundland & Labrador   
   
$12.75   
   
Yukon   
   
$15.20   
   
Northwest Territories   
   
$15.20   
   
Nunavut   
   
$16.00   

How Much Wage is Given to International Students in Canada?

If you are an international student studying in Canada:

You will be working part-time for up to 20 hours a week when your school is in session.

But:

If you are on school breaks and holidays (e.g., spring break, winter break, or summer holidays), you will be working full-time for up to 40 hours a week.

So:

If you are working part-time, you may earn between $800 CAD to $1,500 CAD per month on average.

On the other hand:

If you are working full-time, you may make between $1,600 CAD to $3,000 CAD per month on average.

Don’t forget that there will be tax deductions as well.

Do Student Workers Also Get Vacations and Public Holidays?

Student workers are entitled to take the following ten public holidays off:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

However, the students are not entitled to take a public holiday off if they are:

  • Employed to instruct or supervise children
  • Employed at a camp for children

Moreover, students are entitled to a minimum of 2 weeks of vacation annually after completing 1 year of employment with the same employer.

After 5 consecutive years of employment with the same employer, the entitlement increases to 3 weeks of vacation annually.

What’s the three-hour rule?

A clock showing the time of three hours a day or night

Statement:

According to the Employment Standard Act (ESA), the three-hour rule states that:

If an employee who regularly works more than three hours a day is required to present himself or herself for work but works less than three hours, despite being available to work longer, the employer shall pay the employee wages for three hours, equal to the greater of the following:

  1. The sum of,
  • the amount the employee earned for the time worked, and
  • wages equal to the employee’s regular rate for the remainder of the time.

2. Wages equal to the employee’s regular rate for three hours of work.

Calculating the Three-Hour Rule with Minimum Wage Pay

Under subparagraph (1) of the statement, an employee would receive pay for time worked (at whatever rate is applicable to the time worked) plus pay for the remainder of the three hours at the employee’s regular rate.

Under subparagraph (2) of the statement, the employee’s wages for three hours of work at his or her regular rate would be calculated.

Then, the results from the calculation under subparagraphs (1) and (2) would be compared. The calculation that results in the greatest amount of wages owing is the employee’s entitlement.

Example 1:

Employee:

  • Regularly works more than three hours per day and is required to present herself for work;
  • Regular rate is $28.00/hour;
  • Works for one hour and is then directed by the employer to leave;
  • She is paid her regular rate of $28.00 for one hour’s work.

Entitlement is the greater of:

  1. The sum of, the amount the employee earned for the time worked, and wages equal to the employee’s regular rate for the remainder of the time.

($28.00 + (2 X $28.00)) = $84.00

Or

  1. Wages equal to the employee’s regular rate for three hours of work.

$28.00 X 3 = $84.00

In this example, the employee is entitled to $84.00.

Example 2:

Employee:

  • Regularly works more than three hours per day and is required to present herself for work;
  • Regular rate is $28.00/hour;
  • Is scheduled to work three hours of overtime but works for only one hour.
  • Earned overtime pay (at 1.5x her regular rate) for the one hour she worked.

Entitlement is the greater of:

  1. The sum of, the amount the employee earned for the time worked, and wages equal to the employee’s regular rate for the remainder of the time.

$42.00 + (2 X $28.00) = $98.00

Or

  1. Wages equal to the employee’s regular rate for three hours of work.

$28.00 X 3 = $84.00

In this example, the employee is entitled to $98.00.

When Does the Three-Hour Rule Apply?

The Three-Hour Rule only applies when:

  • The employee regularly works more than three hours per day
  • The three-hour rule has no application if the employee regularly works three hours a day or regularly works less than three hours a day
  • The employee is required to present himself or herself for work
  • The three-hour rule will not apply if the employee has reported to work when directed not to do so by the employer, even on a day that is normally a workday
  • The employer calls their employee and cancels their shift before it starts
  • As your employee does not log any hours, you should always pay minimum wage multiplied by three hours
  • The employee is called in to work on a day that is not a regular workday, and he works less than three hours that day
  • This will not apply if the employer required the employee to be on call for the purposes of ensuring the continued delivery of essential public services, regardless of who delivers those services

Exceptions to the Three-Hour Rule

The three-hour rule will not apply if:

  • The employer is unable to provide work for the employee because of fire, lightning, power failure, storms or similar causes beyond the employer’s control that result in the stopping of work.
  • The employee presents him or herself for work and leaves early, for example due to illness or due to pre-arranged time-off.

FAQs:

How much do students get paid in Canada?

Students working part-time in Canada get paid an average of $13.5 CAD per hour. This will amount to approximately $270 CAD a week, $1,080 CAD per month and $12,960 CAD per year.

How much can a student earn in a month in Canada?

A student can earn $1,080 CAD in a month in Canada if he works part-time (for up to 20 hours a week). And if a student works full-time (for up to 40 hours a week), he can earn $2,160 CAD in a month in Canada.

Do students in Canada get paid?

Yes, the students in Canada do get paid. They are paid $13.5 CAD per hour on average. Students working part-time (for up to 20 hours a week) get paid an average of $270 CAD a week, while students working full-time (up to 40 hours a week) get paid on average $540 CAD a week.

How many hours can students work in Canada?

Students can work for up to 20 hours a week when they are studying or school is in session. And if they are on scheduled school breaks and holidays (e.g., spring break, winter break, or summer holidays), they can work for up to 40 hours a week.

How much can an international student earn in Canada per year?

An international student working part-time may earn between $9,600 CAD to $18,000 CAD per year on average, while an international student working full-time may earn between $19,200 CAD to $36,000 CAD per year on average.

Follow Us

Looking for temporary staffing in Canada?

Contact Us

Get Our Most Helpful Resources