The Ontario Living Wage Network has announced that all 2020 Living Wage calculations across municipalities and regions in Ontario will be suspended for 2020. This means that the 2019 Niagara region Living Wage calculation of $18.12/hour will remain in effect until further notice. The 2019 Cost of Living and Living Wage calculations and reports can be found on the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network website www.wipeoutpoverty.ca.
The Ontario Living Wage Network cited several reasons for the 2020 Living Wage calculation suspension, including:
• The available data may not reflect the changing reality of living expenses across the province and it will be hard to predict how costs will change over the next few months or even what they will look like a year from now;
• The fairness of announcing new calculations that might differ greatly from current rates could put more strain on employers. Many businesses in Ontario are struggling to stay open, have suspended operations, or have been forced to close;
• Not all local communities have the resources to collect data and follow through with the usual release announcements, as priorities have shifted to dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network remains committed to promoting the Ontario Living Wage Network’s provincial Living Wage employer certification program. To date, 40 employers across the Niagara region have become certified as a Living Wage employer, and there are over 300 certified Living Wage employers across Ontario.
For more information on the Ontario Living Wage Network and their Living Wage employer certification program, visit www.ontariolivingwage.ca.
Aidan Johnson, Chair, Niagara Poverty Reduction Network
Better Business Outcomes Through a More Secure Workforce – Event Recording of 2019 NRPN webinar to engage employers in the Living Wage opportunity