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Payroll and Benefits Guide Canada – Nova Scotia

Last updated: Jun 07, 2023

Currency
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Employer Taxes
8.23% + 1.37 CAD for every 100 CAD
Payroll Frequency
monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly
Employee Costs
7.28%
Capital
Halifax
Date Format
yyyy/mm/dd
Fiscal Year
The government's financial year is 1st April to 31st March. For individual taxpayers, the fiscal year is the calendar year, 1st January to 31st December.
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Contribution

Employer Employer Payroll Contributions
5.95%
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) (applied on salary between 3,500 CAD to 68,500 CAD)
4.00%
Canada Pension Plan 2 (CPP2), applied on salary between 68,500 CAD and 73,200 CAD
2.32% Federal Employment insurance (maximum annual employer premium 61,500.00 CAD (EI) premiums
1.37 % Workers’ Compensation contribution (WSIB) applied on income up to 72,500 CAD
8.23% + 1.37 CAD for every 100 CAD Total Employment Cost
Employee Employee Payroll Contributions
5.95%
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) (applied on salary between 3,500 CAD to 68,500 CAD)
4.00%
Canada Pension Plan 2 (CPP2), applied on salary between 68,500 CAD and 73,200 CAD
1.66% Federal Employment Insurance (EI)

(Maximum annual premium 1,002.45 CAD)

(Maximum annual insurable earnings 61,500 CAD)

7.28% Total Employee Cost
Employee Income Tax
Federal:
15.00% Up to 53,359.00 CAD
20.50% 53,359.01 CAD to 106,717.00 CAD
26.00% 106,717.01 CAD to 165,430.00 CAD
29.00% 165,430.01 CAD to 235,675.00 CAD
33.00% 235,675.00 CAD and over
Nova Scotia
8.79% Up to 29,590 CAD
14.95% 29,590.01 CAD – 59,180.00 CAD
16.67% 59,180.01 CAD – 93,000.00 CAD
17.50% 93,000.01 CAD – 150,000.00 CAD
21.00% 150,000.00 CAD and over

Employer taxes

Highest
Lowest

Employee taxes

Highest
Lowest

Minimum Wage

The standard hourly minimum wage in Nova Scotia is 15.00 CAD. The minimum wage rate set for employees of federally regulated organizations will be the current minimum wage rate specified in the jurisdiction in which the employee performs the work.

MINIMUM WAGE (PER MONTH)

Highest
Lowest

Payroll

Payroll Cycle

In Nova Scotia, pay cycles occur monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, and hourly. Monthly paid employees must receive their pay within ten consecutive days from the end of the pay period.

13th Salary

There are no provisions in the law regarding 13th salaries.

Authority Payments

Authority Payment

Paid To

Due Date

Method

Federal Taxes, Employer contribution + withholding taxes

CRA

Either monthly or semi monthly

e-check

Health Contribution

EHT

Monthly

e-check

Working Hours

General

Per the Employment Standards Labor Code, the maximum working hours shall not exceed 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, with a maximum (inclusive of overtime) of 48 hours per week.

Overtime

An employer must pay an employee overtime pay for overtime hours at an overtime rate that is at least 150% of the employee’s regular rate of pay or one hour of time off in lieu.

Certain job types are exempt from overtime rules, for example, many managerial and IT positions.

 

Leave

Annual Leave (vacation)

In Nova Scotia, employees are entitled to two consecutive weeks of annual leave after the first year of employment and three consecutive weeks of leave after five years of employment.
Employees are entitled to vacation pay of 4.00% of the regular salary rate of pay for the first five years of employment and 6.00% of the regular salary rate of pay after five years of employment.

Public Holidays

There are 6 public holidays in Nova Scotia. Employees that work on a statutory/public holiday are paid 150% of the regular hourly salary rate of pay plus public holiday pay, or regular rate of salary for all the hours worked plus a substitute day off with public holiday pay.

Some days, such as Easter Monday, Victoria Day, and Natal Day, are commonly recognized as holidays but are not paid as general holidays under the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code or retail closing days. Retail businesses are free to open and employees who have the right to refuse to work on retail closing days do not have the right to refuse to work on these days.

Employers may agree to provide their employees with additional paid holidays (e.g., Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Natal Day), and the Labour Standards Division may be able to enforce such an agreement.

Date Day Holiday Notes
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
19 Feb 2024 Monday Family Day
29 Mar 2024 Friday Good Friday
1 Jul 2024 Monday Canada Day
2 Sep 2024 Monday Labour Day
11 Nov 2024 Monday Remembrance Day Employees are entitled to take a day off but Employers are not required to pay for it
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day

Sick Days

The Canada Labour Code was updated with effect from December 1, 2022 to provide 10 days of paid sick leave to employees in the federally regulated private sector (which is limited to specific industries).  There is a thirty-day qualifying period for covered employees; therefore, on December 31, employees who have been continuously employed for at least 30 days will have access to their first three days of paid sick leave. As of February 1, 2023, employees will acquire a fourth day, and will continue to accumulate one day a month up to a maximum of 10 days per year.

Effective December 18, 2022, Canada’s Employment Insurance sickness benefits were extended from 15 weeks to 26 weeks. As such, qualified individuals who establish a new claim on or after December 18, 2022 will receive up to 26 weeks of Employment Insurance sickness benefits, paid at 55% of their average weekly insurance earnings, for up to a maximum of $650 per week in 2023.

Maternity Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 17 weeks of leave if the employee has completed at least one year of employment before the due date. Maternity leave may not begin before the 17th week preceding the expected delivery date and shall end not later than 18 weeks after. If the delivery occurs after the expected date, the employee is entitled to at least two additional weeks of maternity leave. Special maternity leave may begin four weeks before the expected delivery date when there is a risk of termination of her pregnancy or a danger for the health of the mother or unborn child caused by the pregnancy. Two weeks’ notice and a medical certificate is required.

Employment insurance provides maternity and parental benefits to:

  • People who are away from work because they’re pregnant or have recently given birth
  • Parents who are away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child
  • Workers are entitled to 55% of their earnings for 15 weeks up to a maximum of CAD650 a week

Maternity benefits are only available to the person who is away from work because they’re pregnant or have recently given birth. They can’t be shared between parents.

The person receiving maternity benefits may also be entitled to parental benefits.

Maternity benefits can be followed by parental benefits. You may apply for both at once.

For further information visit the Government of Canada website.

Paternity Leave

Paternal leave falls under parental leave.

Parental Leave

Parents are entitled to up to 63 weeks of leave to care for a newborn or adopted child. The parental leave cannot begin before the week of birth or when the child is legally adopted.
The leave should begin no later than 78 weeks after the birth or adoption.

Employment insurance provides maternity and parental benefits to:

  • People who are away from work because they’re pregnant or have recently given birth
  • Parents who are away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child

The assistance details are as follows:

Benefit name Maximum weeks Benefit rate Weekly max
Standard parental Up to 40 weeks can be shared between parents, but one parent cannot receive more than 35 weeks of standard benefits 55% up to $650
Extended parental Up to 69 weeks can be shared between parents, but one parent cannot receive more than 61 weeks of extended benefits 33% up to $390

 

For further information visit the Government of Canada website.

Other Leave

In Nova Scotia, employees are entitled to:

  • 2 days of mandatory leave for the bereavement of a family member
  • Approximately 8 weeks of leave for compassionate care leave
  • Up to 3 days of unpaid leave for family responsibility leave
  • Up to 28 weeks per year of unpaid leave for family medical leave
  • Up to 37 weeks of leave in the event of a critical illness
  • Up to 104 weeks in the event of the death of an employee’s child, or in the case that the child has disappeared

With effect from 1st January 2023, bill no. 203, known as Ruby’s Law, has received royal assent. The bill creates a new protected leave for employees who experience a pregnancy that does not result in a live birth. Eligible employees include pregnant employees, employees whose spouses were pregnant, biological parents, intended adoptive parents, and those using surrogacy. Eligible employees will have access to an unpaid leave of up to five consecutive working days. Employees that experience end of pregnancy after 19 weeks may be entitled to an additional unpaid leave of up to 16 weeks.

All employers must provide their full-time, regularly employed employees, job-protected, unpaid leave for their duty as jurors or as a witness in a case, responding to a subpoena, or acting as a plaintiff or defendant in the courts. Employees must provide a copy of the jury summons to the employer as evidence of the requirement.

Reservist Leave regulations require employers to provide up to 20 days of unpaid leave each calendar year for annual training for reservists once they have completed at least 26 consecutive weeks of service with the same employer. An employee may take reservist leave for the following reasons:

      • Deployment to Canadian forces operating outside Canada
      • Deployment to Canadian forces operation inside Canada that are assisting with an emergency or the aftermath of an emergency
      • Annual training, including related travel time, for up to 20 days in a calendar year
      • Other operations set out as such in the Employment Standards Regulation by the minister

 

Vacation Days
Public Holidays
Highest
Lowest

PAID MATERNITY LEAVE (DAYS)

Highest
Lowest

Termination

Termination Process

The termination process is standard in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is based on termination reasons within the General Labour Law, unless an employer can provide sufficient cause for dismissal without notice (i.e., due to misconduct).

Notice Period

In general, notice periods in Nova Scotia are stipulated within the employment contract or collective agreement and are linked to the reason for termination and the employee’s length of service:

  • Up to 2 years of employment: 1 week’s notice
  • 2-4 years of employment: 2 weeks’ notice
  • 4-6 years of employment: 4 weeks’ notice
  • 6-8 years of employment: 5 weeks’ notice
  • 8-10 years of employment: 6 weeks’ notice
  • 10+ years of employment: 8 weeks’ notice

Severance Pay

To be eligible for severance pay, an employee must have completed at least five years of employment, or the company has a payroll of over 2.5 million CAD per year or have terminated over 50 employees in the past six months due to all or part of the company closing to receive severance payments. The severance pay calculation is based on one week’s regular salary rate per year of employment.

Probation Period

Probation period in Nova Scotia for a permanent employee is generally a minimum of 3 months.

VISA

The government of Canada operates the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to enable foreign citizens to apply to work in Canada for a set period. The program covers all job roles and knowledge levels, and it can be used when a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident is not available or suitable for the role. There are federal (government of Canada) immigration programs and provincial programs (government of Nova Scotia) in place in Nova Scotia.

VAT

General

Canadian Federal GST is charged at 5%. Nova Scotia PST is 10%, resulting in a combined GST and PST rate of 15.00%.

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Public Holidays Calendar

Canada – Nova Scotia
Download:
CSV
PDF
ICS
Date Day Holiday Notes
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
19 Feb 2024 Monday Family Day
29 Mar 2024 Friday Good Friday
1 Jul 2024 Monday Canada Day
2 Sep 2024 Monday Labour Day
11 Nov 2024 Monday Remembrance Day Employees are entitled to take a day off but Employers are not required to pay for it
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day