2015 Atlantic Canada Minimum Wage Roundup
April 22, 2015
After a very long winter, the snow is almost gone: time for our annual look at Atlantic Canadian general minimum wage rates. The minimum wage rate is the lowest rate an employer is permitted to pay an employee. The minimum wage rate in every Atlantic Canadian province is higher than it was a year ago – and there are more increases to come.
Nova Scotia. NS has the highest minimum wage rate in Atlantic Canada and the 5th highest in Canada (behind Nunavut, Yukon, Manitoba and Ontario). It’s the only Atlantic Province with a two-tiered minimum wage system based on experienced and inexperienced workers: “experienced” workers are those with experience in a particular area of work and/or who have been employed by the same employer for more than three calendar months. NS adjusts minimum wage rates annually based on the previous year’s national CPI. Effective April 1, 2015, NS minimum wage rates increased by $.20/hour to $10.60/hour for experienced employees and $10.10/hour for inexperienced employees.
Prince Edward Island. After two 2014 increases, PEI’s minimum wage is scheduled to continue its climb, increasing from $10.35/hour to $10.50/hour effective July 1, 2015.
Newfoundland & Labrador. The current NL minimum wage rate of $10.25/hour, in effective since October 1, 2014, is scheduled to increase to $10.50/hour effective October 1, 2015.
New Brunswick. Effective December 31, 2014, NB increased its minimum wage rate for the first time since April 1, 2012, increasing it from $10/hour to $10.30/hour.
Alternate Rates by Sector. NS and NB have alternate minimum wage rates for specific sectors:
- NB. Construction workers, camp leaders and employees whose hours are unverifiable
- NS. Logging and forestry workers and construction workers
Weekly Hour Ceilings. Most provinces establish a ceiling on the number of weekly hours for which employers are permitted to pay employees the minimum wage rate, after which “overtime” may apply. This ceiling varies between provinces. Employers failing to comply with the applicable minimum wage rate legislation may face an employee complaint to the governing employment standards body.
Please contact your McInnes Cooper lawyer or any member of our McInnes Cooper Labour and Employment Team to discuss this topic or any other legal issue.
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