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Minimum Wage Order (General)
made under Sections 50 and 52 of the
Labour Standards Code
R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 246
O.I.C. 1999-56 (February 17, 1999, effective October 1, 1999), N.S. Reg. 5/99
as amended to O.I.C. 2016-160 (July 4, 2016), N.S. Reg. 136/2016
Effective January 28, 2019, these regulations are amended by N.S. Reg. 2/2019
1 These regulations may be cited as the Minimum Wage Order (General).
2 This Order applies within the Province of Nova Scotia to all employees and their employers except all of the following
(a) persons who are employed in a private home by the householder to provide domestic service
(i) for a member of the employee’s immediate family, or
(ii) for no more than 24 hours within a period beginning on a Sunday and ending on the following Saturday, or during such other 7 day period which is the customary pay period of the employer;
(b) persons under the age of 16 years engaged in work on a farm whose employment is directly related to the primary production of eggs, milk, grain, seeds, fruit, vegetables, Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, maple products, honey, tobacco, pigs, cattle, sheep, poultry, or animal furs;
Clause 2(b) amended: O.I.C. 2003-507, N.S. Reg. 201/2003.
(c) employees for whom there are special orders by the Governor in Council;
(d) apprentices under an apprenticeship agreement in accordance with the provisions of the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act;
(e) all persons receiving training under government sponsored and government approved plans;
(f) persons employed at a playground or summer camp operated on a non-profit basis;
(g) real estate salespersons;
(h) automobile salespersons;
(i) salespersons, other than route salespersons, who are entitled to receive all or any part of their remuneration as commissions in respect of offers to purchase or sales of goods, wares, merchandise or services which offers are normally made other than at the employer’s establishment;
(j) insurance agents licenced as such under the Insurance Act;
(k) persons engaged in work on fishing vessels;
(l) employees and employers to whom the Minimum Wage Order (Logging and Forest Operations) or the Minimum Wage Order (Construction and Property Maintenance) applies;
Clause 2(l) replaced: O.I.C. 2003-507, N.S. Reg. 201/2003.
(m) athletes while engaged in activities related to their athletic endeavour.
Clause 2(m) added: O.I.C. 2016-160, N.S. Reg. 136/2016.
Subsection 2(1) renumbered Section 2 and subsection 2(2) repealed: O.I.C. 2003-507, N.S. Reg. 201/2003.
Section 2 amended: O.I.C. 2016-160, N.S. Reg. 136/2016.
3 (1) In this Order
“annual Consumer Price Index” means the “all-items”, annual, Consumer Price Index for Canada published by Statistics Canada under the Statistics Act (Canada);
Definition of “annual Consumer Price Index” added: O.I.C. 2011-312, N.S. Reg. 257/2011; amended: O.I.C. 2016-18, N.S. Reg. 14/2016.
“domestic service” means housework, property maintenance, supervision or service, including health or personal care, for the comfort, safety or convenience of one or more members of the household;
“experienced employee” means an employee who is not an inexperienced employee;
Definition of “experienced employee” added: O.I.C. 2011-312, N.S. Reg. 257/2011.
“immediate family” means having the relationship of spouse, parent, guardian, child, ward, grandparent, grandchild, sister, brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew;
“inexperienced employee” means an employee who has not been employed by his or her present or other employer for a total period of three calendar months to do the work for which the employee is employed, but it does not include a person in the employ of an employer for whom he or she has completed three calendar months of employment.
Definition of “Low Income (Before Tax) Cut-Off” repealed: O.I.C. 2016-18, N.S. Reg. 14/2016.
“projected annual Consumer Price Index” means the estimate of the annual Consumer Price Index for a given year calculated by adding the Consumer Price Index values for the months of January through November in the year preceding the year for which the estimate is to be determined and dividing the sum by 11.
Definition of “projected annual Consumer Price Index” added: O.I.C. 2016-18, N.S. Reg. 14/2016.
Clause 3(1)(d) repealed: O.I.C. 2003-507, N.S. Reg. 201/2003.
Clause letters removed from definitions: O.I.C. 2011-312, N.S. Reg. 257/2011.
(2) Words defined in the Labour Standards Code and the regulations made under the Labour Standards Code shall have the same meaning when used in this Order.
4 For the purpose of this Order, a period of 15 minutes and not more than 30 minutes shall be counted as a ½ hour and a period of more than 30 minutes but less than 60 minutes shall be counted as 1 hour.
5 No employer shall employ an employee at a rate of wages less than the minimum wage fixed in this Order or otherwise violate or fail to observe the provisions of this Order.
Minimum wage for employees
Subsection 6(1) repealed: O.I.C. 2016-18, N.S. Reg. 14/2016.
Subsection 6(2) repealed: O.I.C. 2016-18, N.S. Reg. 14/2016.
6 (3) Subject to subsection (4), effective on and after every April 1 the minimum wages for employees are fixed at the hourly rates calculated as follows:
(a) for an experienced employee, the current hourly wage rate, adjusted by the percentage change in the projected annual Consumer Price Index for the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the adjustment occurs, and rounded to the nearest $0.05;
(b) for an inexperienced employee, $0.50 less than the hourly wage rate for an experienced employee calculated under clause (a).
Subsection 6(3) amended: O.I.C. 2016-18, N.S. Reg. 14/2016.
(4) If the calculation required by subsection (3) results in an hourly rate that is less than the hourly rate fixed for the previous year, there is no adjustment and the minimum wage remains fixed at the hourly wage rate for the previous year.
Section 6 replaced: O.I.C. 2011-312, N.S. Reg. 257/2011.
Notice of adjustments
6A (1) The Minister shall give public notice of any adjustments to the minimum wage as calculated under subsection 6(3) by publishing a notice in the Royal Gazette Part I no later than January 31 of the year in which the adjustment is to take effect.
Subsection 6A(1) amended: O.I.C. 2016-18, N.S. Reg. 14/2016.
(2) No later than April 1, every employer of employees affected by this Order shall post and keep posted in a conspicuous place in the employer’s establishment or plant a copy of any public notice given by the Minister under subsection (1) so that all employees affected thereby may have ready access to and see the same.
Section 6A added: O.I.C. 2011-312, N.S. Reg. 257/2011.
7 The rates hereby fixed are minimum rates and in no way are to be construed as maximum rates.
Maximum rates for board and lodging
8 (1) If an employer furnishes board or lodging, or both, to an employee, the employer shall not deduct from the minimum wage of the employee an amount exceeding the applicable amount set out in the following table:
Board and Lodging
May 1, 2008
October 1, 2011
Subsection 8(1) replaced: O.I.C. 2011-312, N.S. Reg. 257/2011.
(2) No employer shall charge an employee for a meal that the employee did not receive.
(3) Where an employer charges an employee for a single meal or for board and lodging or either of them under circumstances in which the employee has no reasonable alternative opportunity to purchase the single meal or board and lodging or either of them, the employer shall not charge the employee an amount which, if it were deducted from the employee’s wage, would reduce the wage below the minimum wage by more than the amounts set out in subsection (1).
Subsection 8(3) amended: O.I.C. 2016-18, N.S. Reg. 14/2016.
Maximum work week for minimum wage purposes
9 The rates fixed by this Order are for a maximum work week of 48 hours within a period commencing on a Sunday and ending the following Saturday or such other period of 7 days’ duration which the employer may establish as the customary pay period.
Minimum overtime wage
10 (1) Where any employee is required to work more than 48 hours a week, hours so worked shall constitute overtime and the employer shall pay for these hours at a rate of not less than time and one-half the minimum rate.
(2) Despite subsection (1), an employee in the transport industry shall be paid at a rate of not less than time and one-half the minimum rate set in this Order for time worked in excess of 96 hours in any two consecutive weeks.
Subsection 10(2) amended: O.I.C. 2003-507, N.S. Reg. 201/2003.
(3) Despite subsection (1), the employer of an employee who is required to work in excess of 48 hours in a week and who is employed in a building which includes his or her place of residence as a health or personal care worker, watch, janitor or building superintendent, may pay at the minimum rate for the hours worked in excess of 48 hours.
Subsection 10(3) replaced: O.I.C. 1999-567, N.S. Reg. 122/99; amended: O.I.C. 2003-507, N.S. Reg. 201/2003.
(4) Despite subsection (1), the employer of an employee who is
(a) employed in work on a farm that is directly related to the primary production of eggs, milk, grain, seeds, fruit, vegetables, Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, maple products, honey, tobacco, pigs, cattle, sheep, poultry, or animal furs; and
(b) required to work in excess of 48 hours in a week,
may pay the employee at the minimum rate set out in Section 6 for hours worked in excess of 48 hours.
Subsection 10(4) replaced: O.I.C. 2003-507, N.S. Reg. 201/2003.
11 (1) Where an employer recalls an employee to work outside the employee’s scheduled working hours, the employer shall pay the employee for not less than 3 hours at the minimum straight time rate notwithstanding that the employee works less than 3 hours.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a firefighter, police officer or hospital employee who is required to work in an emergency.
Subsection 11(2) amended: O.I.C. 1999-567, N.S. Reg. 122/99.
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to an employee employed in work on a farm whose employment is directly related to the primary production of eggs, milk, grain, seeds, fruit, vegetables, Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, maple products, honey, tobacco, pigs, cattle, sheep, poultry, or animal furs.
Subsection 11(3) amended: O.I.C. 2003-507, N.S. Reg. 201/2003.
12 All time during which an employee waits for work on the premises of his or her employer at the request of the employer shall be counted as time worked.
13 Where an employer pays an employee on a piecework basis the employer shall pay not less than the hourly rate fixed by this Order for the number of hours worked regardless of the amount earned in accordance with the established piecework rates excepting employees employed on a farm whose work is directly related to the harvesting of fruit, vegetables and tobacco.
14 No employer who requires an employee to wear a uniform, apron or smock shall make any charge or deduction from the minimum wage fixed by this Order for the purchase or laundering of such uniform, apron or smock, except that where such uniform is made of woolen or similar heavy material requiring dry-cleaning, the employer may charge the cost of dry cleaning to the employee.
15 This Order takes effect on, from and not before October 1, 1999.