‘We need to ensure our economy can grow in a fair and balanced way for both employees and employers’
Nova Scotia is raising its minimum wage to $12.95 an hour starting April 1, an increase of 40 cents from the current salary.
The government accepted the Minimum Wage Review Committee’s recommendation that minimum wage increase by 30 cents, plus the national consumer price index, which is 10 cents for 2020.
The committee ― which includes employee and employer representatives ― filed its report on Jan. 4.
“COVID-19 has caused unprecedented economic challenges across all sectors,” says Lena Metlege Diab, minister of labour and advanced education. “That’s why we need to ensure our economy can grow in a fair and balanced way for both employees and employers. I want to thank the Minimum Wage Review Committee for recommending a solution that supports both interests.”
The committee also recommended that a further review of the current rate and approach to how setting the minimum wage is conducted, saying there might be other options that have to be explored. This recommendation will be considered in the coming weeks.
2020 changes lead to criticism
In April 2020, Nova Scotia increased its minimum wage to $12.55 per hour, up by $1 from the minimum wage in 2019. That was the largest increase in a decade.
With the increases, the province’s minimum wage saw a 15-per-cent increase in two years.
Restaurants Canada expressed disappointment with the change, saying it undercut previous plans.
The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) also had reservations about Nova Scotia’s increases, but said it “understood that the provincial government was under immense pressure to bring its base wage to a comparable level within Canada. Therefore, RCC focused its efforts on securing a government commitment to return to the CPI formula following the three-year catch up process.”
British Columbia and New Brunswick also boosted their minimum wage rates in 2020.