A living wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in the community.
It is recalculated on an annual or biannual basis to ensure it accurately reflects changing living expenses for residents.
Living wage rates consider the cost of rent, food, transportation, and related government taxes and transfers for households. Learn more about how Peel’s 2021 living wage rate was calculated. It is a practical tool to reduce poverty through paid work because it lets employers know if they are paying their employees enough to make ends meet.
A living wage is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the legal minimum all employers must pay.
Why should we be champions for a Living Wage in Peel?
- More than 12% of Peel’s population live in poverty and over 50% of Peel neighbourhoods are considered low income. People who live in poverty have higher rates of chronic illness and reduced levels of emotional and mental development, which can affect productivity and employment stability.
- Employee turnover and sick leave cost organizations 30% or more of their annual salary to replace. Paying a living wage is linked to a decrease in employee turnover and absenteeism, which can save Peel businesses hiring and retraining costs.
- 48% of those employed in Peel work part-time or part of the year. For years, the minimum wage has been too low to even lift someone working full-time, year-round, above the poverty line, and it’s even more insufficient for part-time workers.
- 51% of Peel’s population consists of immigrants, and working poverty is more concentrated in immigrants and visible minorities. Working poverty can be more easily fixed with effective policy and practice changes, such as adopting a living wage policy.