Living Wage Saskatoon is a partnership of business and non-profit leaders invested in the wellbeing of the Saskatoon community. The Living Wage partnership works to make information about the benefits of paying and earning a living wage available. Our goal is to help businesses work toward paying a living wage, and providing their employees with the basic building blocks of a healthy and happy life. 

What is a Living Wage?

A living wage is often confused with a minimum wage. While a minimum wage is enforced by law (what economists call a ‘price floor’), a living wage reflects what an employee actually needs to live. As a result, a community’s living wage is generally higher than their minimum wage.

For Saskatoon, we’ve calculated a recommended living wage of $16.19 per hour for an individual working a minimum of 35 hours a week. This is the amount needed for an employee to remain healthy, productive, and support themselves and their families with confidence.

Why Offer a Living Wage?

The main reason why a living wage is good for business is simple: employees are more reliable, stable, and happy, when earning a decent living. They are more productive. In short, paying a living wage affords workers the healthy living they need to be great employees. What employer wouldn’t benefit from having great employees?

Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty

- Craig Jenkins, CEO, Costco


I always bring it back to personal and moral responsibility. It's uncomfortable to me to live in a way that is not fair to the people that I am around, but if I could have a role with my business to impact change, I absolutely want to be a part of that

- Laura Neufeld, Owner, The Better Good

Beyond Wage

Living wage policies can be implemented in other ways phased-in wage raises. Some living wage employers provide support for employees seeking to further their skills through post-secondary education and training. Other elements could include enhanced health and dental benefits and in-kind services such as on-site child care or support with transportation costs, be it bus passes or parking permits. It is not unheard of for employees to not show up for shifts because they can’t pull together enough change to take the bus. Providing support alleviates the stress and obstacles that get in the way of them being healthy and productive employees for your business. The ‘how-to’ of implementing living wages may vary. No two businesses are the same. Every expense that employers assist their employees with reduces the wages that are required to meet the living wage standard.


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  • Juali Ravara
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  • Hilary Gough
    commented 2016-05-26 10:08:22 -0600
    Hi Kristina – the Living Wage is distinct from the Minimum Wage. A Living Wage is voluntary, and is intended to set a wage that employers can work toward in their business in order to best support their employees. For a quick breakdown of Minimum Wage vs. Living Wage vs. Basic Income, check out this quick interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f0Bjq3ZMiw&feature=youtu.be
  • Kristina Clouthier
    commented 2016-05-25 21:38:47 -0600
    I strongly agree with all of these statements and I greatly appreciate the push for expansion. However, what is your response to an employer who claims increasing the minimum wage would run them out of business?
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  • Hilary Gough
    published this page 2015-09-17 14:14:04 -0600

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