Understanding Employment Standards in New Brunswick

Confused about how these regulations apply to your business?
Help is just a call away! Dial1-888-234-2232 and our Business Counsellors will be happy to assist with your queries about staffing regulations.

Are you a new business owner?

If so, your first step is to figure out whether your business is federally or provincially regulated. If, like almost 90% of businesses your company is regulated provincially, check out the helpful guidelines and fact sheets on employment rights available through the website of New Brunswicks Department of Post Secondary Education Training and Labour.  Better yet, call our Business Counsellors toll free at 1-888-234-2232 for timely answers to your questions.

 

Do these questions sound familiar? We can help!

 

What is New Brunswick's minimum wage?
The New Brunswick minimum wage is $10.00 per hour until December 31st 2014.  After Dec 31, 2014 the minimum wage will be $10.30 per hour.

What are the paid public holidays in New Brunswick?
The seven paid public holidays in New Brunswick are:

  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • New Brunswick Day
  • Labour Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

How do I pay my staff for public holidays?
To qualify, an employee must:

  • be employed by the employer for at least 90 calendar days (not only work days) during the 12 months before the public holiday;
  • have worked his scheduled regular day of work before and after the holiday (this is not necessarily the day immediately before or after the holiday), unless there is a good reason for not doing so (most reasons related to illness are considered acceptable);
  • If he has agreed to work on the public holiday report for work and work his scheduled shift unless there is a good reason for not doing so;
  • not be employed under an arrangement where he can decide when to work or not to work; and
  • not be employed in specific occupations exempted by regulation (for more information call your business counsellor 1-888-234-2232).

All employees are entitled to receive one and one-half time their regular wage rate for each hour worked on a paid public holiday.

An employee who qualifies and works on the public holiday must receive his regular day's pay plus one and one-half times his regular wage rate for the hours worked on that day.

An employee who qualifies and does not work on the public holiday must receive his regular day's pay for that day.

What are the mandatory food and rest breaks for employees?
The general rule is an employee must be given a thirty minute food or rest break if their shift is longer than five consecutive hours.

Generally these breaks are unpaid if the employee has the ability to leave their place of work for the duration of the break.  When an employee is required to be "on call" or "standby" during their break, breaks should be paid. 

How do I calculate vacation pay?
An employee who has less than eight years of employment with the employer is entitled to receive a vacation pay equal to four percent of his gross wages (before deductions).  

An employee who has eight or more years of employment with the employer is entitled to receive a vacation pay equal to six percent of his gross wages (before deductions).

Employers are required to give all their employees an annual vacation leave with vacation pay dependent on each individual employee's years of service.

An employee who has less than eight years of employment with the employer is entitled to a vacation leave of the lesser of the following two options:

  • at least one day for each month worked, or
  • at least two weeks of vacation per vacation year.

An employee who has more than eight years of employment with the employer is entitled to a vacation leave for the lesser of the following two options:

  • at least one and one-quarter day for each month worked, or
  • at least three weeks of vacation per vacation year.

What steps must I take to terminate an employee?

Warning:  Firing can be dangerous to your business' health.  The rules that follow are general. Many exceptions, levels of legislation and regulation may apply.  Please call us first at 1-888-234-2232 before taking any action.

In New Brunswick, there are very specific regulations  stipulating how to terminate an employee.  The general rule is to either give written notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice.  In New Brunswick, the amount of notice an employer must give depends on how long the worker has been employed. 

When an employer dismisses an employee for cause, the employer must give the employee the reasons for the dismissal in writing. Where the employer does not provide the reasons in writing, the dismissal becomes a termination and for an employee employed with an employer for 6 months or more, the employer will be required to pay the employee what he would have earned during the applicable notice period.

  • Where an employee has been employed with an employer for less than six months, the employer is not required to give the employee advance notice of the termination or layoff.
  • Where an employee has been employed with an employer for a period of at least six months but less than five years, the employer must give the employee at least two weeks written notice of the termination or layoff.
  • Where an employee has been employed with an employer for a period of five years or more, the employer must give the employee at least four weeks written notice of the termination or layoff.

The employer may choose to pay the employee the wages the employee would have earned during the applicable two or four week notice period instead of providing a written notice.

CFIB's Business Counsellors are available to answer your questions. Contact us at cfib@cfib.ca or by calling 1–888–234–2232.

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