Newsflash: Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education Announces Significant Changes to Minimum Wage

January 31, 2020

On January 30, 2020, the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education announced its largest increase to Nova Scotia’s minimum wage in a decade.

Minimum Wage Increased

Starting April 1, 2020, Nova Scotia’s minimum wage will increase from $11.55 to $12.55 an hour. Also, the Nova Scotia Government has announced that it will be doing away with the dual minimum wage regime currently in place. Under the dual minimum wage regime, “inexperienced” employees are paid a reduced minimum wage of $11.05. An inexperienced employee is one who has less than three months’ experience in their kind of work and who has less than three months’ service with their current employer. After April 1, all employees must be paid the same increased minimum wage.

Abolition of Partial Hour Rule

Lastly, the Government announced that it is eliminating the partial hour rule regarding employee entitlement to pay. This rule currently requires employers to pay employees for (a) one half hour if they worked between 15 and 30 minutes and (b) one full hour if they worked between 30 and 60 minutes. This rule has resulted in administrative confusion regarding the different treatment of time worked in the first 30 minutes of an hour and the last 30 minutes of an hour of work. Under the changes proposed by the Government on January 30, these round up rules will be eliminated, meaning that calculation of payment for employers should be simplified.

The Government of Nova Scotia’s full news release can be found here.

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