Protection of Pay : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Employment Rights

Protecting Pay FAQ


When must an employee be paid wages earned?

An employee must be paid at least two times each month and within 5 business days after the end of the pay period. There are exceptions to this however, one being where payments are made in accordance with the terms of an existing practice; e.g., monthly payments.


Is an employer allowed to send an employee home before the employee's shift ends? If so, does the employer have to pay the employee for the whole scheduled shift?

The Code does not prohibit an employer from sending an employee home before the employee's shift ends. In general, employers are not required to pay employees for hours not worked. One exception, however, would be where the employee was called into work outside of the employee's regular scheduled hours and the employee worked less than three hours. That employee would have to be paid at least 3 hours at the minimum wage.


When an employer requires an employee to take a job-related course is the employer required to pay wages for that day?

The Code and Regulations do not provide for pay entitlement specific to training. Such entitlement would be assessed on a case by case basis. For example, we would consider whether there was an existing agreement between the employer and employee prior to the training, whether the employee's attendance at training is required by the employer, whether the employer directly benefits from such training, etc.

If the employee is required to attend First Aid Training, or any other safety related training, the employee may want to contact Health and Safety for information concerning an employer's responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.


Does an employer have to pay an employee who is unable to make it to work because of a storm or other weather conditions?

The Code and Regulations do not provide for paid leave for storm days or any other such day. Unless the employer has a policy to the contrary, it would be at the employer's discretion as to whether employees would be paid for the hours not worked. This includes situations where the business shuts down early because of a storm and employees are sent home.


What does the Code say about pay raises?

The Labour Standards Code does not make any provisions for raises in pay. The only requirement regarding pay levels rests with the minimum wage. Employees must be paid at least the minimum wage, unless their type of work is specifically exempted from the minimum wage.


What about retroactive pay?

The Code does not contain provisions regarding retroactive pay. If the employee's employment contract provides for retro active pay or if there is a company policy that provides for retroactive pay, the Labour Standards Division may have the authority to enforce the agreement or policy.


If an employer requires an employee to wait for work on the employer's premises, is the employer required to pay the employee for this time.

The General Minimum Wage Order states:

"All time during which an employee waits for work on the premises of his or her employer at the request of the employer shall be counted as time worked."

This means that employers would have to ensure their employees were paid at least minimum wage for the hours they were required to wait on the premises for work.


Can an employer withhold pay or make deductions from an employee's pay for cash shortages, damage to the employer's property or for any other such reason?

For information on lawful and unlawful deductions see Deductions from Pay and Minimum Wage.



If you have any questions, please contact Labour Standards.


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