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.

New Brunswick. NB’s rate of $10/hour has not increased since April 1, 2012. The NB Government has not indicated the rate will change.

Prince Edward 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. 

Newfoundland & 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 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.