United Way Niagara recently announced that the 2022 hourly living wage calculation for the Niagara region now sits at $19.80/hour. The 2021 living wage calculation was $18.90. The 2022 figure was pushed upward due to the impact of inflation, housing, and rent prices.

Nearly seven years after the release of the first living wage calculation for Niagara, the Living Wage Program has found a new home with United Way Niagara. Previously housed with the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network (NPRN), the living wage program has made significant progress in Niagara. With 86 employers in Niagara certified to pay a living wage, United Way is excited to have the opportunity to continue the momentum.

The methodology used to produce the cost of living and living wage calculations comes from the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) which looks at major expenses that workers face such as shelter costs, transportation, childcare, and food. It also takes into consideration important expenses such as internet access, social activities, and clothing. Government taxes, transfers, and benefits are also factored in as well. You can learn more about the methodology on their website at www.ontariolivingwage.ca.

A living wage reflects what earners in a household need to be paid based on the actual costs of living and being included in a specific community. A living wage is not the same as the legislated minimum wage. It is a voluntary commitment that employers can make to compensate directly-employed and contract-employed full-time and part-time workers.

There is strong evidence to suggest it’s not just employees that benefit from a living wage either. Employers paying a living wage experience improved reputation of the business, better relationships between management and staff, decreased employee turnover and absenteeism, increased retention and productivity, and savings on rehiring and retraining. Employers can use the living wage as a tool within their recruitment strategy for lower-paying occupations. Additionally, long-term, stable, happy employees lead to better relationships with customers, which aids in growing a business.

United Way Niagara is committed to promoting the Ontario Living Wage Network’s provincial living wage employer certification program.

Employers can use the living wage rate as a base and know that they are paying an amount that allows for more than just surviving.

To learn more about the certification process, contact:

Isha Dadhwal, Living Wage Program Coordinator
By email: isha@unitedwayniagara.org
Or by phone: 905-688-5050 ext. 2124

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