As expected, the Nova Scotia government has announced that on April 1, 2015, minimum wage will increase to $10.60 (from $10.40) and the inexperienced wage rate will increase to $10.10 (from $9.90). The increase is based on the two percent increase in the national Consumer Price Index for 2014.

Retail Council of Canada supports the Nova Scotia approach of setting minimum wage in a manner that is directly linked to the economy, is predictable, and allows retailers lead time to budget and manage changes to their labour costs.

Background:

Nova Scotia’s minimum wage formula: the province’s minimum wage rate must be at least at the Low Income Cut Off rate as measured for the city of Sydney, NS. From this level, the government must raise the minimum wage rate by the national Consumer Price Index for the previous year.

RCC supports a Consumer Price Index (CPI) driven minimum wage policy as it strips the politics out of this important decision and provides the element of predictability to retailers.

There are a growing number of provinces in Canada following Nova Scotia’s lead on determining minimum wage increases. Alberta and Saskatchewan determine minimum wage increases based on their previous year’s provincial Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Average Weekly Earnings (AWE). In the Yukon, minimum wage increases are based on the previous year’s territorial Consumer Price Index. In each case, businesses are given advance notice of the pending change to CPI and AWE.

More information on Nova Scotia’s minimum wage increase can be found under the Employment Rights section of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education’s website.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Jim Cormier at: [email protected] or 902-422-4144