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Is a $15 minimum wage coming to Nova Scotia?

The minimum wage is going up April 1st — and there could be bigger changes coming to the way it’s calculated.

On January 26th 2018, the Minimum Wage Review Committee recommended the minimum wage in Nova Scotia increase to $11/hour up from $10.85/hour for the experienced rate and $10.50/hour up from $10.35/hour for the inexperienced rate.

Comprehensive review coming in 2018

This year, in addition to reviewing the minimum wage rate the Committee is going to review the current formula, the current rate and the overall approach to setting minimum wage in Nova Scotia. Premier McNeil has committed to looking at options for harmonizing the minimum wage and the approach for making adjustments. The other premiers in the Atlantic region have made the same commitment.

While most small businesses pay more than minimum wage, increases to minimum wage (either slight or steep) present a challenge for businesses once all the additional costs such as CPP, EI and WCB premiums are taken into account. Further to this, steep hikes in the minimum wage in other jurisdictions (Ontario & Alberta) have been proven to kill jobs and hurt small businesses.

We are making sure small and medium-sized businesses have a strong voice at the table on this important issue.

How minimum wage is set now

Every year since Nova Scotia adopted an annual review of minimum wage, the Committee meets to discuss the province’s minimum wage and make a recommendation to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. Since 2011, the Committee has used a formula to determine the new minimum wage that includes adjustment for the national inflation rate (Consumer Price Index). This has prevented sharp spikes in the minimum wage but has guaranteed an increase even when poor economic conditions are being experienced in many areas of the province.

Read the 2018 Minimum Wage Review Report here.