Newfoundland and Labrador

Global Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

The Labour Law in Newfoundland and Labrador is regulated mainly by The Labour Standards Act. The Act requires all employers to establish conditions of employment that meet at least the legislated minimum standards in areas such as hours of work, minimum wage, leave entitlements, termination of employment, etc.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

A workweek is a period of 7 continuous days beginning after midnight on a Saturday. The standard working hours are set at 40 hours per week. Labour Standards Act, § 21.1 and Labour Standards Regulation, § 5.

 

Call-in

In case, an employee reports for any shift of 3 hours or more and it is canceled, they must receive payment for at least 3 hours. An employee whose working hours are scheduled for 2 hours, shall be paid for the 2 hours worked.

In situations, where an employee is called into work and is not required to work for at least 3 hours, the employer shall either let the employee work for at least 3 hours or pay the employee for any unworked portion of 3 hours at the minimum wage rate or the minimum overtime wage rate, whichever is appropriate. Labour Standards Regulation, § 10.

 

Recordkeeping Requirements

An employer shall maintain records for each employee including particulars such as name, address, rate of wages, the number of hours worked, etc, for a period of 4 years from the date of the last entry. Labour Standards Act, § 63.

Overtime

Overtime must be paid on any hours worked over 40 hours per week. The minimum overtime rate is 1.5 times the minimum wage rate.

 

Overtime does not apply if an employer approves a written request from 1 or more employees to switch shifts with another employee/s and due to this change, the affected employee/s works more than 40 hours a week.

 

Banking of overtime

An employer may grant paid time off from work at the rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime work instead of overtime pay (which is 1.5 times the minimum wage rate), in cases where:

      • An employee and employer agree to do so;
      • The paid time off is taken within 3 months of the workweek in which the overtime was earned or, with the employee’s agreement within 12 months from that workweek.

In case, where the employment ends before the time off is taken, the employer shall pay the employee for all the overtime hours worked within 7 days of termination. Labour Standards Act, § 25 and Labour Standards Regulation, § 9.

Breaks

An employer shall provide an unbroken rest period of one hour after each consecutive 5 hours of employment. Shorter breaks can also be established through an agreement between the employee and the employer. If the employer maintains control over employees during a rest period, in such cases, the employees are entitled to paid breaks. Labour Standards Act, § 24.

 

Daily Rest Period

An employee is entitled to not less than 8 hours of a rest period in every 24-hour period. These 8 hours are in addition to the breaks required during the workday. Labour Standards Act, § 23.

 

Weekly Rest Period

An employer shall provide 24 consecutive hours off from work in each week unless an emergency exists, and wherever possible the day off should be a Sunday. Labour Standards Act, § 22.

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to following 13 public holidays:

      • New Year’s Day
      • St. Patrick’s Day
      • Good Friday
      • St. George’s Day
      • Victoria Day
      • Discovery Day
      • Memorial Day
      • Orangeman’s Day
      • Labour Day
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Remembrance Day
      • Christmas Day
      • Boxing day
      • Other days that may be proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as a public holiday.

When no work performed on a paid Public Holiday

An employer shall pay an employee who has worked for at least 30 days and works their scheduled shift before and after the paid holiday, with the same employer, the wages during a public holiday even though no work is performed. The wages shall be calculated by multiplying the employee’s hourly rate of pay by the average number of hours worked in a day by the employee in 3 weeks immediately preceding the holiday.

 

Payment for working on a Public Holiday

An employee who works on a paid public holiday is entitled to either:

        • Wages at twice their regular rate for the hours worked on the holiday;
        • An additional day off with pay same as what the employee would have received for not working on a public holiday, within 30 days after the public holiday; or
        • One extra full day added to the annual vacation of the employee with the same pay as he/she would be entitled to if that day were a public holiday.

In case, an employee is required to work for a lesser number of hours on a paid public holiday than they would normally work, the employee shall be paid at their regular wages for the actual hours worked plus a regular day’s pay.

 

Public Holiday falling on a Non-Working Day

If a public holiday falls on a day on which employee is not scheduled to work, the employer shall grant holiday on the first working day immediately after the public holiday or on another day as mutually agreed to by the employer and employee and this day shall be a paid day for the employee.

Annual Leave

Eligibility

An employee shall be entitled to an annual vacation if he has been employed with the employer for at least 12 consecutive months and has worked for at least 90% of the normal working hours.

 

Length of Vacation

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for less than 15 years is entitled to 2 weeks per year and employees in the continuous employment with the same employer for 15 or more years are entitled to 3 weeks of vacation per year.

 

Manner of Taking Vacation

An employee who is entitled to 2 weeks of vacation can take holiday either in one broken period of 2 weeks or 2 unbroken periods of 1 week each. An employee who is entitled to 3 weeks of vacation can take a holiday in any of the below manners:

      • 1 unbroken period of 3 weeks;
      • 2 unbroken periods of 2 weeks and 1 week respectively;
      • 3 unbroken periods of 1 week each.

The employee must be allowed to take their vacation within 10 months of the time they become eligible for it and shall be given at least 2 weeks of written notice of commencement of vacation.

 

Vacation Pay

Vacation pay for employees who have worked for less than 15 years with the same employer is calculated as 4% of total wages earned by the employee for the hours worked by the employee within the continuous 12 month period, including commissions and overtime, and 6% of the total wages earned by the employee for the hours worked by the employee within the continuous 12 month period, for employees with 15 years or more of continuous employment with the same employer.

 

The payment for vacation is not required to be made by an employer unless the employee has been employed by the employer for 5 consecutive workdays or more.

 

Time of Payment

An employer shall pay at least one day before the annual vacation, the payment to which the employee is entitled to the period of vacation taken or given.

 

Termination of Employment

If an employee is eligible for vacation pay upon termination of employment, he/she shall be paid within one week of the termination of employment. Labour Standards Act, § 7 – 13.

Minimum Wage

Effective October 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Newfoundland & Labrador is set at $12.15.

 

The minimum wage stated above is subject to change and may not be up to date. Kindly access this link to get current wage rates.

Special Leave

Sick/Family Responsibility Leave

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for at least 30 days is entitled to 7 days of unpaid leave in a year. Labour Standards Act, § 43.11.

Pregnancy Leave

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for at least 20 consecutive weeks immediately before the expected birth date of the child is entitled to pregnancy unpaid leave for up to 17 weeks.

 

The leave shall not begin earlier than 17 weeks before the expected date of delivery and if the employee is entitled to take parental leave, the leave shall end 17 weeks after the pregnancy leave begins. The pregnancy leave of an employee who is not entitled to take parental leave ends either 17 weeks after the pregnancy leave began or the day that is 6 weeks after the birth, stillbirth or miscarriage, whichever is later. Labour Standards Act, § 40 – 43.2.

Adoption Leave

An employee who is a parent of a child and has been employed with the same employer for at least 20 consecutive weeks is entitled to unpaid leave following the coming of the child into care and custody for the first time. The leave begins on the day the employee stops working and ends 17 weeks after it began or an earlier day if the employee gives his or her employer at least 4 weeks’ written notice of that day. Labour Standards Act, § 43 – 43.2.

Parental Leave

An employee who has been employed with the same employer for at least 20 consecutive weeks and is a parent of a child is entitled to unpaid leave following:

      • The birth of the child; or
      • The coming of the child into the care and custody of the parent for the first time.

The parental leave of an employee who takes pregnancy leave shall begin when the pregnancy leave ends unless the child has not yet come into the care and custody of the parent for the first time. Parental leave shall end on the earlier of:

        • 61 weeks after it began; or
        • 96 weeks after the day the child is born or comes into the care and custody of the parent for the first time.

Parental leave can also end on an earlier day if the employee gives the employer at least 4 weeks’ written notice of that day. Labour Standards Act, § 43.3 – 43.9.

Bereavement and Sick Leave

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for at least 30 days is entitled to 1 day paid leave and 2 days of unpaid leave in the event of the death of a relative. The employee will be entitled to wages calculated by multiplying the employee’s hourly rate of pay by the average number of hours worked in a day in the 3 weeks immediately preceding the bereavement leave.

 

An employee who has not been in continuous employment for at least 30 days with the same employer is entitled to unpaid leave for 2 days in the event of the death of a relative. Labour Standards Act, § 43.10.

Compassionate Care Leave

An employee who has been in continuous employment for at least 30 days is entitled to an unpaid leave of 28 weeks to provide care or support to a family member with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks from:

      • The day when the medical certificate is issued; or
      • The day the leave began if leave began before the certificate was issued.

The leave begins either on the first day of the week in which the certificate is issued or the first day of the week in which the employee was absent if the leave began before the certificate was issued. The leave will end with the last day of the week in which either of the following occurs:

        • The family member dies; or
        • The expiration of 52 weeks following the first day of the week in which the leave begins.

An employer shall provide an additional 3 weeks of unpaid leave immediately following the end of the week in which the death of the family member occurred. A leave of absence shall be taken in periods of at least 1 week in duration. The aggregate amount of leave that can be taken by two or more employees with respect to the same family member shall not exceed 28 weeks in the 52 weeks period. Labour Standards Act, § 43.13 – 43.16.

Reservist Leave

An employee who has been employed with the same employer for a period of at least 6 consecutive months and is a member of the reserves is entitled to unpaid leave for the purpose of providing service.

 

An employee shall not be entitled to a second or additional period of unpaid leave for the purpose of service unless at least one year is over, calculated from the date when the employee returned to work from the most recent leave of absence. Labour Standards Act, § 43.17 – 43.22.

Crime Related to Child’s Death or Disappearance Leave

An employee who has been employed with the same employer for at least 30 days and is a parent of a child who has died as a result of crime is entitled to unpaid leave for up to 104 weeks.

 

An employee who has been employed with the same employer for at least 30 days and is a parent whose child has disappeared as a result of crime, is entitled to unpaid leave up to 52 weeks. Labour Standards Act, § 43.23 – 43.27.

Leave Related to Critical Illness

An employee who has been employed with the same employer for at least 30 days is entitled to leave up to 37 weeks to provide care or support to a critically ill child who is a family member.

 

An employee who has been employed with the same employer for at least 30 days is entitled to leave up to 17 weeks to provide care or support to a critically ill adult who is a family member. Labour Standards Act, § 43.28 – 43.32.

Family Violence Leave

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for a period of at least 30 days is entitled to paid leave for 3 days and unpaid leave for 7 days in a year, in cases where the employee or a person to whom the employee is a parent or a caregiver has been a victim of, or impacted by family violence or has witnessed family violence.

 

The wages to which an employee is entitled to, is calculated by multiplying the employee’s hourly rate of pay by the average number of hours worked in a day in the 3 weeks immediately preceding the family violence leave.

 

Exception

An employee shall not be granted leave in certain cases such as to allow the employee to move his/her place of residence or receive legal services etc. Labour Standards Act, § 43.33 – 43.42.

Communicable Disease Emergency Leave

An employee is entitled to unpaid leave in situations where the employee will not be able to perform duties of his/her position because of reasons associated with a designated communicable disease.

 

An employee shall be allowed to take leave starting on the date prescribed in the regulations and for as long as he/she is not performing the duties because of the disease and the communicable disease is designated by the regulations.

Voting Leave

An employee is eligible for 4 consecutive hours paid time off from work for the purpose of voting. An employer does not have an obligation to provide time off from work where the required number of consecutive hours falls outside an employee’s hours of work but within the voting hours.

Last updated on: November 13th, 2020