Are Employees Entitled to Raises?

Employment Law | January 12, 2023

Every employee wants to feel as though they are being fairly compensated for the work they perform, especially as the cost of living continues to rise. After performing the same role for one or several years, employees often start to wonder if they are due for a raise or why they have not received one yet. Before answering the question “are employees entitled to raises?”, it is important to have all the relevant facts surrounding the Employment Standards Act and employment contracts. That is why the employment law experts at Linley Welwood have compiled some information to give employees and employers the facts they need to understand their rights and responsibilities.

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Are Employers Required to Give Employees a Raise?

Under the Employment Standards Act, employers are not required to provide raises over time for their employees. Whether an employee performs manual labour or office administration, they can legally have the same salary or hourly wage for several years so long as it meets or exceeds minimum wage. Despite this lack of legal requirement, most employers provide yearly raises for their employees to offset the rising costs of living. These raises are also granted as a means of rewarding performance, inspiring loyalty, and helping employees feel as though they are growing alongside the company.

In some instances, a raise schedule may be outlined in the employment contract. If an employment contract states that an employee is entitled to regular raises at certain intervals, the employer must act in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Unionized employees, for example, often have annual wage increases included in their collective agreement. Before accepting an employment offer, it is worth reviewing the contract to determine if raises are discussed as part of the agreement.

How can Employees Receive a Raise?

If there are no provisions or clauses for raises in an employment contract, it can be difficult for an employee to determine how to effectively increase their hourly wage or salary. In many cases, employers will give employees a raise as part of their yearly review. While this is a common practice, it is not legally required. In certain work environments, employees may not receive a raise unless they directly request one. In this situation, the employee will need to advocate for themselves and demonstrate the value of the work they perform. It should be noted that even if an employee presents a strong case, the employer is still not obligated to provide a raise.

To learn more about raises, minimum wage, and other areas of employment law, get in touch with the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services or your employment situation.

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