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«Guide to the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code Purpose of this Guide The purpose of this Guide is to help people understand how Nova Scotia Labour ...»

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 certain farm employees  apprentices employed under the terms of an apprenticeship agreement under the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act  anyone receiving training under government sponsored and government approved plans  anyone employed at a non-profit playground or summer camp  real estate and car salespeople  commissioned salespeople who work outside the employer’s premises, but not those on established routes  insurance agents licensed under the Insurance Act  employees who work on a fishing boat  employees who fall under the minimum wage orders concerning Logging and Forest Operations and Construction and Property Maintenance  employees who do domestic service for or give personal care to an immediate family member in a private home and are working for the householder  employees who do domestic service for or give personal care in a private home and are working for the householder for 24 hours or less per week Lawful Deductions

Lawful deductions include:

 statutory deductions (income tax, CPP, EI)  court ordered deductions (for example, garnishment)  those that provide a benefit to employees (for example, health plans)  charges for board and lodging as authorized by the Minimum Wage Orders  recovery of pay advances, overpayments  deductions for employee purchases from the employer’s business on account, if there is a clear agreement between the employee and the employer that these can be deducted  deductions for dry cleaning of woolen or other heavy material uniforms These deductions can be made even if they bring the employee’s wages below the minimum wage.

Other Deductions Some employers make deductions from employees’ pay for losses, shortages, damage, etc.

Also, some employers make deductions for employee debts that are not for purchases on

account. These deductions:

 must not take the employee’s gross wages below minimum wage  must be authorized by a clear agreement between the employer and the employee (deductions are authorized by the employee when there is a written agreement or when the employee has acted in a way that shows he/she accepts the deduction - we recommend that employers use written authorizations for all such deductions) If the deduction is for losses incurred while the employee is working, it must be supported by a written authorization by the employee. The authorization should be made in advance, ideally when the employee is hired. Authorizations made after the loss occurs will be open to challenge. The authorization should specify the kind and amount of deductions that will be made. It should be dated and signed by the employee. If the deduction is for losses caused by customers leaving the employer’s business without paying for goods or services, the employer must be able to show that the loss is the fault of the employee.

Note: Complaints must be filed with NS Labour Standards within 6 months of an alleged violation of the legislation occurring.

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Individuals who recruit workers for employment in Nova Scotia cannot charge the workers, including foreign workers, a fee for recruitment related services. Employers cannot make deductions, directly or indirectly, from employees’ pay to cover the costs of recruiting.

Vacation Time Earning Vacation Time Employers must give employees vacation time of two weeks after each period of 12 months of work. This increases to three weeks once an employee has completed 8 years of service with the employer. An employee earns his/her vacation time during the first 12 months of work and every 12 months after that. The employer must give the employee her vacation time within the 10 months following the 12 month earning period.

Taking Vacation Time Employers decide when employees will take their vacation time. Employers must tell employees when their vacation will begin at least one week before it begins. Many employers let their employees choose when to take vacation time; however, the employer has the final say.

Employees who work full time must take vacation time. Employees who work less than 90 per cent of the employer’s regular working hours during the 12 months when they earned vacation can give up vacation time and just collect their vacation pay (see below for information on vacation pay). When an employee tells an employer in writing that he/she will give up vacation time, the employer must pay the employee his/her vacation pay no later than one month after the date the 12 month earning period ends.

Vacation Time May Be Broken If the employer and employee agree, the vacation time may be broken into two or more vacation periods, as long as the employee receives her full two weeks’ vacation, or three weeks after 8 years, and the employee receives at least one unbroken week of vacation.

Vacation Pay Earning Vacation Pay Vacation pay is different than wages. Employers must pay employees, whether full time, parttime, seasonal, etc., vacation pay of at least 4 percent of gross wages. This increases to 6 percent of gross wages once the employee has completed 8 years of service with the employer.

An employee earns vacation pay during the first 12 months of work for an employer and every 12 months after that.

Note: Complaints must be filed with NS Labour Standards within 6 months of an alleged violation of the legislation occurring.





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An employer can pay vacation by:

 accumulating the vacation pay over the 12 month earning period and paying it out to employees at least one day before they take their vacation time - note an employee can request accumulated vacation pay earlier but the employer does not have to provide it until one day before the employee’s vacation  adding the vacation pay to each cheque, or  including the vacation pay in with the employee’s hourly rate, which would be paid in every pay cheque (in this case, the employer must ensure the employee’s rate of pay is at least minimum wage plus 4 percent, or 6 percent for employees after 8 years) The employer must make it clear to each employee how they are being paid their vacation pay.

The employer can do this, for example, by showing accumulated vacation pay on every pay stub, showing on the paystub that vacation pay is paid out with each pay, by having employees sign a clear statement acknowledging they are aware that vacation pay is included in their hourly rate of pay, or by stating on each paystub that vacation pay is included in the hourly rate of pay.

Employees do not earn wages when they take their vacation time. Vacation pay is intended to be the employee’s pay during his/her vacation time, even if the employee receives vacation pay on each pay.

If an employee’s job ends and the employee has accumulated vacation pay, the employer must pay the accumulated vacation pay within 10 business days after the employment ends.

If there is a dispute and the employer cannot show vacation pay was paid, the employer will normally have to pay the vacation pay (see also information sheet on Records).

Employees Not Covered by the Rules

The rules on vacation time and vacation pay do not apply to the following employees:

 real estate and car salespeople  commissioned salespeople who work outside the employer’s place of business, but not anyone with an established route  a salesperson who sells mobile homes  employees who work on a fishing boat  employees who do domestic service for or give personal care to an immediate family member in a private home and are working for the householder  employees who do domestic service for or give personal care in a private home and are working for the householder for 24 hours or less per week Note: Complaints must be filed with NS Labour Standards within 6 months of an alleged violation of the legislation occurring.

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These rules also apply to some salaried employees. Certain industries are characterized by irregular working hours and conditions and do not follow the general rule. Some have special rules about overtime and some others are not covered by overtime.

Special Rules Some groups of employees have special rules to deal with overtime, called wage orders. The jobs covered by these wage orders are listed below.

Minimum Wage Order (General) The following groups of employees receive overtime at 1½ times the minimum wage after 48

hours worked in a week:

 oil and gas employees (but not those in retail)  managers, supervisors, and employees employed in a confidential capacity. This includes managers and supervisors in the construction industry  transport (this group can average over 96 hours in two weeks)  primary fish, aquaculture and agricultural processors (but not meat)  flat-rate auto mechanics/auto body technicians  some types of professionals and their trainees  information technology (IT) professionals (but not employees who provide basic operational/technical support)  shipbuilders and related employees (but not those in retail) Minimum Wage Order (Construction and Property Maintenance) The following groups of employees receive 1½ times their regular wage after 110 hours worked

over a two week period:

 those constructing, restoring or maintaining roads, streets, sidewalks, structures or bridges (except municipal)  those doing paving of all sorts  water and sewer installers For example, these employees could work 60 hours one week and 50 hours the following week without earning overtime because the combined hours do not exceed 110.

Employees Not Covered by the Rules

The overtime rules do not apply to the following employees:

 most farm employees  apprentices employed under the terms of an apprenticeship agreement under the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act  anyone receiving training under government sponsored and government approved plans  anyone employed at a non-profit playground or summer camp  real estate and car salespeople  commissioned salespeople who work outside the employer’s premises, but not those on established routes  insurance agents licensed under the Insurance Act  employees working on a fishing boat  employees who do domestic service for or give personal care to an immediate family member in a private home and are working for the householder  employees who do domestic service for or give personal care in a private home and are working for the householder for 24 hours or less per week  employees in the logging and forest industry  live-in health care and live-in personal care providers  janitors and building superintendents in buildings that include their residence

Fixed Cycle Averaging Agreements

An employer and employee may agree to average the employee’s hours of work over a number of weeks - where there is a pre-determined, fixed cycle of work that repeats over a specific period of time and provides for extended time off. This means the employer would not need to pay overtime based on the number of hours the employee works in one week. Instead overtime would be based on the total number of hours the employee worked in the cycle.

There are conditions that must be met for employers and employees to do this. Please see our website or contact Labour Standards for information on this.

Note: A separate law covers Remembrance Day; it is explained at the end of this information sheet.

Qualifying for Paid Holidays

To have a day off with pay for these holidays, an employee must:

1. be entitled to receive pay for at least 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday and

2. have worked on his/her last scheduled shift or day before the holiday and on the first scheduled shift or day after the holiday First, during the 30 calendar days right before the holiday, the employee must be entitled to receive pay for 15 of those days. This does not mean that the employee must have worked 15 out of 30 days. The important words to remember are “entitled to receive pay.” For example, if an employee is sick and the employer has a paid sick time policy, or if the employee is attending a course and is being paid wages for attending, the employee may still qualify for the paid holiday.

Second, the employee must have worked on his/her last scheduled shift or day before the holiday and on the first scheduled shift or day after the holiday. The important word to remember is “scheduled.” Many people believe this means that if the employee does not work the day after the holiday then the employee does not qualify to receive holiday pay. If the day is one when the employee is not scheduled to work, then he/she may still qualify for the paid holiday.

Note: If an employer tells an employee not to report for work on his/her last scheduled work day immediately before the holiday, or the next scheduled work day after the holiday, then the employee is still entitled to receive holiday pay if he/she meets the first qualification.

Paying an Employee for a Holiday

If an employee qualifies for the holiday and is given the day off, the employer must pay a regular day’s pay for that holiday. If the employee’s hours of work change from day to day, or if wages change from pay to pay, the employer should average hours or wages over 30 days to calculate what to pay the employee for the holiday. For example, if an employee worked 20 of the 30

calendar days before the holiday for a total of 170 hours, the calculations would be as follows:

170 ÷ 20 = 8.5 average hours worked per shift.

Note: Complaints must be filed with NS Labour Standards within 6 months of an alleged violation of the legislation occurring.

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Calculating Holiday Pay When the Employee Works on a Holiday An employee who works on a holiday and who qualifies to be paid holiday pay is entitled to

receive both of the following:

 the amount the employee would have normally received for that day and  one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of wages for the number of hours worked on that holiday When the Employee Works in a Continuous Operation Employees who work in a continuous operation can be paid for holidays in a different way. A

continuous operation is:



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