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Nova Scotia minimum wage increases starting on April 1, 2019

As of April 1, 2019, Nova Scotia’s minimum wage will increase to $11.05 per hour for inexperienced workers and $11.55 per hour for experienced workers. The minimum wage rate applies to a work week of 48 hours or less. This increase will be followed by two more years of increases, also on April 1st.

Increase dateExperienced rateInexperienced rate
April 1, 2019$11.55/hour$11.05/hour
April 1, 2020$12.10/hour$11.60/hour
April 1, 2021$12.65/hour$12.15/hour

(Note: increases for 2020 and 2021 are estimates.)

What is the difference between an inexperienced worker and an experienced worker?
  • An inexperienced employee has done a kind of work for less than three calendar months and has worked for the same employer for less than three calendar months.
  • An experienced employee has done a kind of work for at least three calendar months or worked for the same employer for at least three calendar months.
April 1 falls in the middle of the pay period, can I wait until the next pay period to start paying the new minimum wage?

No. The new minimum wage comes into effect on April 1, 2019. Any hours worked on that date and after must be paid at a minimum of $11.55 per hour.

Example: The pay period is March 24 to April 6, 2019. The employee works 8 hours a day, Monday to Friday, and is paid at minimum wage.

Rate from March 24 to March 31: $11.00

Rate from April 1: $11.55

Do I have to increase the salaries of my employees who currently earn more than the minimum wage?

No. The law requires that you pay at least the minimum wage to all employees; beyond that, wage increases are at your discretion.