Atlantic Canadian Minimum Wage Update
May 23, 2013
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Note: On November 1, 2013 the NL Government announced increases to its minimum wages to be effective in October 2014 and October 2015. Click here to read McInnes Cooper’s: Rising NL Tide Will Further Lift Minimum Wages. On January 31, 2014 the NS government announced increases to its minimum wages to be effective in April 1, 2014. Click here to read McInnes Cooper’s: NS Increases Minimum Wage Rates.
Spring is officially here, and with it our annual update on Atlantic Canadian minimum wage rates:
- NS. Effective April 1, 2013 the NS minimum wage rose to $10.30 / hour for experienced workers, and $9.80 / hour for inexperienced workers.
- NB. NB’s minimum wage remains at $10 / hour.
- PEI. PEI’s minimum wage also holds steady at $10 / hour.
- NL. NL’s minimum wage rate also holds at $10 / hour though a 2012 review recommended an increase in 2013 and annually for inflation beginning in 2014.
MINIMUM WAGE RATE
The minimum wage rate is the lowest rate an employer is permitted to pay an employee. All Atlantic Canadian provinces have increased their minimum wage rates over the last several years, and Atlantic Canada’s minimum wage rates now match or surpass those in other Canadian provinces.
Nova Scotia. NS is the only Atlantic Provinces 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. Effective April 1, 2013, NS minimum wage rates increased by $.15/hour resulting in rates of $10.30/hour for experienced employees and $9.80/hour for inexperienced employees.
New Brunswick. NB has not increased its rate since April 1, 2012, when it increased the rate to $10/hour as the final step in its four-stage plan to increase NB’s rate.
Prince Edward Island. PEI has also not increased its rate since April 1, 2012, when it increased the rate to $10/hour in the last of a scheduled three-phase increase to PEI minimum wages.
Newfoundland & Labrador. NL’s minimum wage remains at $10/hour. No changes are currently scheduled. In 2012, the committee charged with the statutorily mandated bi-annual review recommended the NL government take the following steps, though there is no indication the government has accepted them:
- increase the minimum wage in 2013 (with at least 6 months advance notice to stakeholders); and
- beginning in 2014, adjust the minimum wage annually based on NL’s Consumer Price Index in the prior year, announced January 31 and effective May 1 annually.
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 Law Team to discuss this topic or any other legal issue.
McInnes Cooper has prepared this document for information only; it is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult McInnes Cooper about your unique circumstances before acting on this information. McInnes Cooper excludes all liability for anything contained in this document and any use you make of it.
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