News Release Archive

Nova Scotia's minimum wage will increase to $5.50 on Feb. 1,
Labour Minister Manning MacDonald reminded Nova Scotians today.
This is a 15-cent increase from the current rate of $5.35.

"This government is committed to making Nova Scotia an even
better place to live and work," said the minister. "We are
helping workers keep pace with the cost of running their
households. We are helping them put a little more money in their
pockets -- money that will be spent in community businesses."

The minister also noted the importance of giving employers enough
notice to adjust to the changes. Last spring, government
announced its plans for a two stage increase in the minimum wage.
On Oct. 1, the wage increased for the first time in three years
-- from $5.15 to $5.35.

"The minimum wage increase is needed, is modest and has been a
long-time coming," said the minister. "Nova Scotia has an
excellent work force, and it's important that they're treated

Last fall's changes also extended protection to include employee
groups who were previously exempt, such as domestic workers,
professionals, and students training for certain professions.

Domestic workers include anyone employed to work in a private
home for more than 24 hours a week. This includes workers
providing child care, housekeeping, property maintenance, health
and personal care, supervision of seniors or people with a
disability, and other home services. Most other Canadian
provinces already include domestic workers.

Individuals are not required to pay minimum wage to domestic
employees who work less than 24 hours a week, members of their
immediate family, and self-employed people who may be providing
domestic home services.

Professions recently included are architecture, dentistry, law,
medicine, chiropody, optometry, pharmacy, professional
engineering, public or chartered accounting, psychology,
surveying and veterinary medicine. Other professions have always
been covered by the rules. This move is primarily aimed at
helping students who are working toward professional designation.

"Updating the rules helps Nova Scotians keep up with economic
trends, as well as the norms in other Canadian provinces." said
Mr. MacDonald.

Other Atlantic provinces have recently announced increases in
their minimum wage rates. New Brunswick reached $5.50 in July.
Prince Edward Island will move to $5.40 in September 1997, and
Newfoundland will reach $5.25 by April 1997.

Leading up to the changes, there was an extensive review involving
input from employer and employee groups across Nova Scotia.

Information and a copy of the Minimum Wage Order or Labour
Standards Code, may be obtained from the Labour Standards Division
at 902-424-4311.


Contact: Ross Mitchell      902-424-5404 or 902-424-4311

         Jennifer MacIsaac  902-424-4680 or 902-424-3219

sab                      Jan. 30, 1997 - 9:55 a.m.