PEI Minimum Wage 2021

PEI Minimum Wage 2021

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated October 5, 2021

In Prince Edward Island, under the law, employers must pay their workers a minimum pay rate. Minimum wages are usually set every year to reflect the cost of living and are meant to ensure that employees are able to cover the basic costs of living, including food and shelter.

Let’s go into more detail about the minimum wage in PEI this year, and what exceptions may exist. 

Minimum Wage PEI 2021

As of April 1, 2021, the minimum wage for all employees in PEI is $13 per hour. That’s an increase of $0.15 from April 2020, when the minimum wage was $12.85 per hour. 

The Minimum Wage Order establishes wage rates in PEI, which is the amount an employer must pay an employee for every hour of work. The order also establishes standards of employment for any costs associated with lodging and meals, where applicable. 

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Minimum Wage Over The Years

The following table displays the minimum wage rate in PEI over the past 5 years:

YearMinimum Wage Rate
2021$13
2020$12.85
2019$12.25
2018$11.55
2017$11.25

Minimum Wage Exceptions PEI

There are certain exemptions to minimum wage requirements in PEI. For instance, some employers pay their workers by how much they produce, rather than hourly, which is known as ‘piecework’. That said, employers are not allowed to pay their workers less for piecework than what their employees would have earned at the minimum wage for the number of hours worked.

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Non-Allowable Wage Deductions 

Employers may withhold or deduct all or part of a worker’s pay if the worker authorizes it in writing. However, there are exceptions. Employers cannot make such deductions in the following circumstances:

  • Faulty workmanship or damage done to the employer’s property 
  • Uniform and footwear required by the employer and unique to the employer’s business
  • Cash shortages to be covered 

Allowable Wage Deductions

Employers are allowed to make certain deductions to employee wages, including the following: 

  • As required or permitted by law, such as Employment Insurance (EI) or income tax
  • As agreed upon by the employee in writing 
  • As required by order of the court 
  • After a previous pay advance made to the employee
  • Through a group benefits plan that the worker participates in
  • Through a contribution toward a savings plan as requested by the employee
  • As authorized by the Minimum Wage Order

Under the Employment Standards Act, eligible employees get the following paid holidays off:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Islander Day (3rd Monday in February)
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

In order to qualify for these paid holidays, employees must meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed with the same employer for at least 30 calendar days before the holiday 
  • Earned pay on a minimum of 15 out of the 30 calendar days prior to the holiday 
  • Worked their last scheduled shift prior to the holiday and the first scheduled shift after the holiday

If an employee is told by their employer not to come into work on their last scheduled workday right before the holiday, or the next scheduled workday following the holiday, the employee will still be entitled to receive holiday pay.

In the case where an employee works on a holiday and who is qualified to be paid to be off, that employee is eligible to receive a regular full day’s pay and 1.5 times the employee’s regular wage for the number of hours worked on that holiday. Or, the regular wage rate for the number of hours worked on that day and another day off with the employee’s regular day of pay before their next paid vacation.

Overtime Wages In PEI 

Most jobs in PEI come with a standard workweek of 48 hours. Any hours worked over this 48-hour threshold within 1 week are considered overtime hours and must be paid as such. In PEI, overtime hours are paid at 1.5 times the regular pay rate. 

Employees may opt to save their overtime hours to be taken at a later time as paid time off if the employer agrees and the request for compensation is made in writing. The paid time off will also need to be taken within 3 months of when the overtime was worked. Employers must keep records of any overtime worked and used by employees.

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FAQs About Minimum Wage in PEI

Do I get paid for my lunch breaks in PEI? 

Employees are entitled to a half-hour unpaid break for every 5 hours worked consecutively and cannot be denied without justification. Under certain circumstances, employers must pay for the half-hour break where employees do not get the full entitled break at one time.

How much vacation pay can I get in a year in PEI? 

Under the Employment Standards Act, employees are entitled to paid vacation. For employees who have worked for the same employer for less than 8 years:
  • 2 weeks vacation after each 12-month period within the following 4 months
  • At least 4% vacation pay paid for by the employer at least 1 day prior to the start of the vacation
For employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 8 years or more:
  • 3 weeks vacation after each 12-month period within the following 4 months
  • At least 4% vacation pay paid for by the employer at least 1 day prior to the start of the vacation

Can my employer take my tips? 

Employers cannot require an employee who earned tips and gratuities to share them. However, employers may have a policy in place in which tips and gratuities may be pooled to benefit all employees. In this case, the employee must be advised in writing when they are first hired so they are aware of this policy before they start working.

Final Thoughts

Minimum wages are set to ensure that employers don’t pay workers less than would be needed to cover the basic costs of living. In PEI, that number is usually set every April and typically reflects the increase in costs of housing, food, and other necessary expenses. As an employee, you’re entitled to these minimum pay rates, and your employer must comply according to provincial law in PEI.


Rating of 5/5 based on 1 vote.

Lisa has been working as a writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same. She's used a variety of financial tools over the years and is currently growing her money with Wealthsimple, while stashing some capital in a liquid high-interest savings account so that she always has a financial cushion to fall back on. She's also been avidly using her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect as many Aeroplan points as possible to put towards her travels!

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