The Labour Standards Division administers provincial Labour Standards legislation by providing awareness sessions and presentations to employers, employees and recruiters; investigating and resolving Labour Standards complaints; auditing pay and recruitment records; and answering inquiries from the public by phone, email and in person.
Labour Standards legislation establishes the minimum employment rules in Nova Scotia that employers and employees must follow. It includes rules specific to recruiting workers and hiring foreign workers.
These rules also include minimum standards for wages, deductions from pay, vacation pay, overtime pay, holidays with pay, leaves, ending employment, and other things. It is not legal for employers and employees to agree to terms, conditions, and benefits that offer less than the legislation offers. However, employers can give their employees greater benefits than those in the legislation.
Employees, employers and recruiters have rights and responsibilities under these rules. A person who feels they have not received a benefit under the legislation can contact Labour Standards about filing a Labour Standards complaint (see also section on Labour Standards Complaint Process). Generally, Labour Standards legislation applies to:
However, not all employees are covered by all areas of the legislation. The rules can be complicated. If you have any questions, contact the Labour Standards Division
The legislation does not apply to:
As well, we do not process complaints from:
Complaints must be filed with the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Division within six months of a violation of the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code taking place for the Division to have the authority to address the complaint. For example, an employee begins a job on July 2, 2019 and regularly works overtime hours without receiving overtime pay. Ten months later, on May 1, 2020, the employee files a complaint with Labour Standards claiming overtime pay dating back to their first week of employment. Labour Standards cannot order the employer to pay overtime pay owed since July 2, 2019. Labour Standards can only order the employer to pay overtime pay owed between November 1, 2019 and May 1, 2020, which is the 6-month period immediately preceding the date the employee filed the complaint.
If you have any questions, please contact Labour Standards.