Logging and Forestry : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Employment Rights

Logging and Forestry

Changes to the minimum wage

Starting 1 April 2023, the minimum wage will increase to the following amounts over the next two years:

  • 1 April 2023 - $14.50
  • 1 October 2023 - $15.00
  • 1 April 2024 - $15.20

For the most part, the provisions of the Labour Standards Code apply to workers employed in logging or forest operations the same as they do to most other workers. However, there are two areas where these workers are treated differently:

  1. Individuals employed in logging or forest operations are not entitled to overtime pay under the Labour Standards Code and Regulations.
  2. There is a separate Minimum Wage Order for these employees (Minimum Wage Order - Logging and Forest Operations) which sets out the minimum standards employers must meet with respect to pay.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wages for employees in a logging or forest operation starting 1 October 2023:

Effective Date Class of Employees Rate
1 October 2023 Time Workers $15.00 per hour
Other Workers $2949.00 per month
1 April 2024 Time Workers $15.20 per hour
Other Workers $2,988.30 per month

Note: If an employer provides an employee with board and lodging, the employer may deduct from the minimum wage of the employee a maximum of $10.80 per day for such board and lodging.

These rules apply to employees engaged in the following activities:

  • the carrying on of logging (including the logging or cutting of cordwood, mining props, pile poles, pulpwood or tie cutting)
  • hauling, driving fluming, rafting, or booming of logs, mining props, pile poles, pulpwood or ties,
  • the construction and maintenance of a road, where necessary to provide access to a logging operation or a camp or a loading or driving facility
  • forest improvement work including thinning, drainage and irrigation of the soil
  • reforestation
  • forest fire protection
  • catering, contracting or subcontracting operations in the forest in connection with a logging operation
  • the operation of a portable mill or temporary establishment in the forest where wood is rough sawed as part of a logging operation

These rules do not apply to:

  • employees transporting wood already removed from the forest
  • employees of a farmer carrying on logging or forest operations with not more than two employees on a woodlot owned by the farmer
  • employees hired in an emergency to fight forest fires
  • workers employed outside the forest in mills or establishments where the wood is worked or processed
  • forest fire fighters employed under the provisions of the Forests Act.
  • employees whose pay, through a written agreement between the employee and the employer, is based on board feet or cords or other method of measuring wood

Note: It is not uncommon for businesses operating in the logging and forestry industry to enter into contracts with self employed workers (also referred to as independent contractors) rather than hire employees. The Labour Standards Code and Regulations do not apply to workers who fall under the definition of self-employed.

One last point - regarding the employment of children

Section 68(2) of the Labour Standards Code prohibits employers from employing a child under the age of 16 in the forest industry unless the child is a member of the employer's family. See Employment of Children.