Unionized Workplaces and the Labour Standards Code

Unionized Employees : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Employment Rights

Employees who belong to a union and who fall under a collective agreement are treated differently under the Labour Standards Code and Regulations than most other employees.


What is a collective agreement?

A collective agreement is a written contract between an employer and a union representing a particular group of employees. The provisions of the collective agreement set out the terms and conditions of employment and cover such things as wages, hours of work, leaves of absences and employee benefits. Collective agreements also often outline procedures for dealing with disputes between the employer and employees (often called grievance procedures).


Employees who fall under a collective agreement should look to their agreement for provisions dealing with:

  • holidays and holidays with pay
  • overtime pay
  • right to refuse work
  • rest/eating breaks
  • any obligations on the employer or employee to provide notice when the employment relationship ends


If you fall under a collective agreement and you have concerns about your employment relationship and the benefits associated with it, you should contact your union.