With spring (and, finally, the spring
weather) officially here, it's time for our annual roundup of
Atlantic Canadian general minimum wage rates:
NS. Effective April 1, 2014 the NS
minimum wage rose to $10.40/hour for experienced workers, and
$9.90/hour for inexperienced workers.
NB. NB's minimum wage sticks at
$10/hour for the third year running.
PEI. PEI's minimum wage also holds
steady at $10/hour, but the PEI Government says it will increase
twice in 2014.
NL. NL's minimum wage rate remains at
$10/hour but will increase in October 2014 and again in 2015.
MINIMUM WAGE RATES
The minimum wage rate is the lowest
rate an employer is permitted to pay an employee. All Atlantic
Canadian provinces except NB have increased their minimum wage
rates over the last two years; Atlantic Canada's minimum wage
rates now match or surpass those in other Canadian provinces.
Nova Scotia. NS
is still 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. Effective April 1,
2014, NS minimum wage rates increased by $.10/hour to:
$10.40/hour for experienced employees; and
$9.90/hour for inexperienced employees.
Brunswick. NB's rate of $10/hour has not
increased since April 1, 2012. The NB Government has not indicated
the rate will change.
Island. PEI has also not increased its rate of
$10/hour since April 1, 2012. On April 11, 2014 the PEI Government
announced it will increase the rate twice this year, but it
hasn't yet made the changes to the minimum wage laws required
to make this effective:
to $10.20/hour effective June 1, 2014; and
to $10.35/hour effective October 1, 2014.
Click here to read the PEI Government's
April 11, 2014 press release.
Labrador. Two increases are scheduled to NL's
current minimum wage of $10/hour, and the NL Government has
indicated it will review the rate again in 2015:
to $10.25/hour effective October 1, 2014; and
to $10.50/hour effective October 1, 2015.
Click here to read the NL Government's
November 1, 2013 press release.
Alternate Rates by
Sector. NS and NB have alternate minimum wage rates for
NB. Construction workers, camp leaders and
employees whose hours are unverifiable
NS. Logging and forestry workers and
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
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
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