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Pay

Employers must pay wages to employees by cheque or direct deposit in Canadian dollars. Employers cannot give you goods or services instead of paying you money. Employees who are paid by the hour must be paid at least semi-monthly or every 14 days. Employees that are paid a salary must be paid at least every month.

Deductions

Employers are required to take money off your pay for things like income tax, employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan contributions. Employers can also take money off that you agreed to. For example, some employers set it up so that employees can contribute to savings plans or RRSP’s through money deducted off their pay cheques.

There can be other contributions that you are required to make as a condition of your employment. For example, you may be required to contribute to a benefit plan. Or, if you are a live-in care provider your employer can take a maximum of $250 per month off your pay for room and board.

If an employer makes an honest mistake and overpays an employee the overpayment can be deducted from the next pay cheque. For employers to be able to do this they must have caught the mistake in a timely manner. If the mistake is not caught for a number of months the employee may still owe the employer for the overpayment but the employer cannot simply take it off the next pay cheque.

Other than amounts allowed by law, employers cannot take any money off your pay. For example, your employer cannot take money off your pay because...

  • you broke something at work
  • a customer left without paying
  • someone stole something from the store during your shift

Uniforms

If an employer requires a uniform the employer must provide it to you at no cost. An employer cannot charge a deposit. An employer who requires a certain type of clothing – such as black pants and a white shirt – does not, however, need to pay for it.

If you work in a restaurant, hotel, nursing home, hospital or educational institution that requires a uniform, employers must also launder and repair the uniform at no cost to you. This does not apply to registered nurses.

Statement of Earnings

Every time you are paid you will get a statement of earnings. This statement will show things like the number of hours, your wage and any deductions. You should keep these statements and also keep your own record of the hours you worked. Keeping records can help if you have a disagreement with your employer about your wages.

Minimum Wage

In Saskatchewan you must be paid at least minimum wage for most jobs. The minimum wage as of October 1, 2019 is $11.32 per hour. The minimum wage changes yearly based on the Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index looks at increases to the cost of living.

There are a few jobs where minimum wage pay is not required. These include farm workers, some care workers who go into people’s homes to look after a family member and casual babysitters.

Reporting for Duty Pay

In most jobs you also must be paid for at least 3 hours at your hourly wage anytime your employer requires you to be at work. For example, if you come to work but are sent home after 1 hour you will still be paid for 3 hours. Also if an employee comes to work for a scheduled shift and finds out that their employer has changed their shift without telling them, they will be paid for a minimum of 3 hours whether they are required to stay or not.

This is called reporting for duty pay. Reporting for duty pay does not apply to overtime hours.

School bus drivers, noon hour supervisors hired by schools, and high school students (during the school term) do not get reporting for duty pay. They are only paid for the hours they actually work, with a minimum pay of 1 hour at their usual wage.

Pay Discrimination

Employers cannot pay employees doing similar work different amounts based on their sex or any other ground prohibited by human rights laws. Similar work means working in the same workplace, under similar work conditions doing work that requires similar skill, effort, and responsibility to perform. Employees can, however, be paid differently based on things like seniority or skill level.

If an employer is found to have discriminated against an employee by paying less for similar work, that employee's wage must be raised to the amount of others doing similar work. Employers cannot reduce the wages of others to match those of the employee discriminated against.

Benefits for Part-Time Employees

Employers do not have to provide benefits, such as dental plans or prescription drug plans, for their employees. However, if they choose to do so there are rules about including part-time employees. Generally speaking larger employers – with 10 or more full-time employees – that provide benefits to their full-time employees must also provide benefits for their part-time employees.

Part-time employees in these cases must receive benefits once they have worked half of the year and put in at least 390 hours. After that they must work at least 780 hours a year to be eligible. It's important to note that part-time employees do not need to receive the same level of benefits as full-time employees. For example, if the employer offers a dental or drug plan to full-time employees, part-time employees only need to be included in the basic plan.

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PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.