2016 April Showers Bring Minimum Wage Increases to Atlantic Canada
April 26, 2016
Spring is sprung, the grass has risen – and so have minimum wages. 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 except Newfoundland & Labrador has increased in 2016. Here’s our annual look at Atlantic Canadian general minimum wage rates:
Prince Edward Island. PEI’s minimum wage rate continues a steady climb with two more increases scheduled this year: effective June 1, 2016 it will increase by $.25 to $10.75 / hour and effective October 1, 2016 it will increase another $.25 to $11 / hour. When the first increase takes effect, PEI will have the highest minimum wage rate in Atlantic Canada (a spot NS held in 2015) and making it the fifth highest minimum wage rate in Canada by the end of 2016 (behind Alberta, NWT, Nunavut and Ontario).
Nova Scotia. Effective April 1, 2016, NS minimum wage rates increased by $.10/hour to $10.70/hour for experienced employees and $10.20/hour for inexperienced employees. NS is the only Atlantic Province with a two-tiered minimum wage system: “experienced” workers have experience in a particular area of work and/or 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.
New Brunswick. NB too increased its minimum wage rate: effective April 1, 2016 it will increase to $10.65 / hour.
Newfoundland & Labrador. The NL minimum wage rate of $10.50/hour has been in effect since October 1, 2015; the government has not announced any increase in 2016.
Alternate Rates by Sector. NS and NB have alternate minimum wage rates for specific sectors:
- NB. Specific employees in the construction field performing work under a contract awarded by the Province, camp leaders and employees whose hours are unverifiable.
- NS. Logging and forestry workers and construction workers.
Weekly Hour Ceilings. Most provinces cap the number of weekly hours for which employers can pay employees the minimum wage rate; after that “overtime” may apply. This cap depends on the province. Employers that don’t comply with the applicable minimum wage rate legislation could 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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