Minimum wage earners are about to get a little boost. In a press release Wednesday morning, the Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, confirmed that the Quebec minimum wage is still set to increase by 60 cents on May 1, for a total of $13.10/hour. Boulet hopes the announcement will "help mobilize workers, especially in the current context."
He first announced the increase on December 18, 2019.
"Our government is proud to be keeping its commitment to increase the minimum wage," he said Wednesday.
"This is a concrete step toward Québec's economic recovery."
"In addition to ensuring fair pay for the workers concerned, we are increasing their purchasing power without jeopardizing employment or the competitiveness of Québec businesses."
"We want these workers to know how grateful we are and how much we appreciate the work they do," he concluded.
The minimum wage for tipped workers will also go up to $10.45/hour, an increase of 40 cents.
Meanwhile, "The minimum wage for people engaged solely in picking raspberries or strawberries during a given pay period will increase to $3.89 (+18 cents) and $1.04 (+5 cents) per kilogram, respectively."
The Ministry claimed in December that roughly 409,100 people would "benefit" from the increase — over half of them female.
The Government of Quebec previously announced a salary bonus for some essential workers.
Those making $550 or less in gross wages per week can apply to receive an additional $1,600 over four months. Applications open May 19.
Health care professionals working directly with infected people will also receive a bonus.
Le gouvernement du Québec annonce aujourd'hui des ajouts dans la liste des services prioritaires. 👇 https://t.co/yOQaU1AJAP
The general minimum wage increase will come at a critical moment.
All non-essential businesses in the province are closed until May 4, though the government could further postpone that date.
Even then, Premier François Legault and national public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda have suggested that the first businesses to open will be those that can maintain social distancing protocols in their establishments.
"In the next few days, in the next few weeks, we may well think about reopening businesses, but the two-metre [distance] will remain for months. So we have to get used to that rule," Legault said on April 8.