Minimum wage jumps to $11.55 in April

P.E.I.'s minimum wage will increase 30 cents in April to $11.55, according to a government news release.

'We’re really really pleased that government is giving us this much notice'

The province announced the minimum wage increase on Thursday. (Getty Images)

P.E.I.'s minimum wage will increase 30 cents in April to $11.55 — the highest in Atlantic Canada, according to a government news release.

The Employment Standards Board, which reviews the minimum wage rate each year, recommended the minimum wage increase based on economic factors in the province and input received from the public, the release said. 

The board gathered input from 15 organizations and 12 individuals during consultations over the summer.

It doesn't take away all the sting of an increase but it is at least something that government can do, that's quite simple frankly.—Erin McGrath-Gaudet

"When you're in a low profit margin industry, any type of increase is always tough to absorb," said Erin McGrath-Gaudet, director of P.E.I. and Intergovernmental Policy at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

"That being said, we're really really pleased that government is giving us this much notice — I think this the most notice we've gotten in recent memory."

'Doesn't take away all the sting'

Minimum wage was increased earlier this year to $11.25 from $11. McGrath-Gaudet said that time they had about a month's notice, which is "simply not sufficient."

Erin McGrath-Gaudet, of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says giving Islanders early notice helps businesses prepare for the impact. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Five months notice is easier to swallow, she said.

"It doesn't take away all the sting of an increase but it is at least something that government can do, that's quite simple frankly, for them to give this type of a notice period."