Overtime : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Employment Rights

Overtime FAQ



Are the rules around overtime the same for all workers?

No. Some occupations such as certain farm workers, people who work on fishing boats, real estate salespeople and automobile salespeople are exempt from the overtime provisions. There are other groups of workers who are also exempt.

Also, certain industries, such as construction, are treated differently under the overtime rules as are certain groups of workers such as managers and supervisors.

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How much is overtime pay?

In general, overtime pay is 1 ½ times an employee's regular wage. For example, if an employee makes $14 per hour, the employee's overtime wage would be $21 per hour.

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How many hours must an employee work in order to be entitled to overtime pay?

In general, an employee must work more than 48 hours in a week (7 days) before being entitled to overtime pay. Overtime pay would attach to those hours worked in excess of 48 hours in one week. For example, if the employee worked 50 hours in one week the employee would be paid regular pay for 48 hours and overtime pay for the other two hours.

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Do the overtime provisions apply to salaried employees?

Yes. The Code overall applies to salaried employees.

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How would overtime be calculated for salaried employees?

To calculate the hourly rate, divide the employee's salary (per week) by the employee's regular hours worked per week. If there are no set hours, the number of hours should be a fair representation of a normal work week. Then, calculate the overtime amount due by multiplying the employee's wage per hour by the number of overtime hours worked (over 48 hours per week).

For example, if the employee's contract says the employee works 40 hours a week for a salary of $600, that means the employee's hourly wage is $15 per hour. Therefore the employee's overtime pay would be $22.50 per hour.

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What if an employee currently works 35 hours per week. Should the employee be paid overtime if the employee has to work more than 35 hours?

In general, employers are not required to pay overtime until the employee has worked more than 48 hours in a week.

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What if an employee signs an agreement with the employer saying that the employee will work overtime at the employee's regular rate of pay?

Such an agreement would not be valid - the Code would still apply. No one can agree to anything that is contrary to the Code.

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What are the overtime rules for managers and supervisors?

In general, managers and supervisors are entitled to overtime at 1 ½ times the minimum wage, after 48 hours worked in a week.

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How does Labour Standards define a manager/supervisor?

The following will help define manager/supervisor. Does the employee:

  • supervise or direct workers?
  • discipline subordinates (independently or as part of a management team)?
  • evaluate the performance of subordinates?
  • hire or promote staff or have the ability to recommend hiring/promotions?
  • exercise independence or discretion in performing assigned duties?
  • participate in carrying out the employer's budgets and performance requirements
  • make significantly more than other employees?

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What are the overtime rules for the construction industry?

The overtime provisions contained in the Minimum Wage Order (Construction and Property Maintenance) apply to the construction industry. In general, employees of the construction industry are entitled to receive 1½ their regular wage after 110 hours worked over two weeks. For example, if a construction worker worked 112 hours over a two week period, the employee would be entitled to 110 hours at the employee's regular wage and the other two hours at 1½ times the employee's regular wage.

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If you have any questions, please contact Labour Standards.

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