The New Brunswick government is proposing to postpone the forthcoming minimum wage increase — originally scheduled for Sept. 1, 2011 — until April 1, 2012.
“Our government has heard from small- and medium-sized businesses that they need time to adjust to the recent successive minimum wage hikes,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe. “That is why we are proposing the minimum wage increase planned for Sept. 1 be postponed for six months. This period will also enable us to continue to explore the idea of a two-tiered minimum wage.”
The minimum wage rose to $9.50 per hour April 1, 2011, from $8 per hour in April 2009, an increase of nearly 19 per cent in two years. With the proposed amendment, it would reach $10 per hour on April 1, 2012.
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) supports the New Brunswick government's proposal.
"Since 2010, restaurant operators have been struggling with wage hikes five times higher than other economic indicators. These massive increases have been one of the main reasons the restaurant industry has lost 2,100 jobs over the past year," said Luc Erjavec, CRFA's Atlantic Canada vice-president.
"Postponing the increase is a great first step given the slow economic recovery in the region.”
The draft minimum wage regulation will be posted for a 30-day period for the public and stakeholders to provide their comments.
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