Nunavut

Global Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

The Labour Law in Nunavut is regulated mainly by the Labour Standards Act, 1988. The Labour Standards Act governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays, and rest periods, wages, overtime, employment relationships. The other acts that govern employment relationships are Employment Insurance Act (Canada) etc.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The standard working hours of an employee are 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

 

An employer may require or permit an employee to work more than the standard hours of work on the condition that the total hours of work for an employee do not exceed 10 hours in a day and 60 hours in a week, in cases of establishments with seasonal nature of work or in exceptional circumstances.

 

Averaging Hours of Work

In cases of working establishments that require irregular distribution of an employee’s hours of work, the government authority can permit the standard and maximum hours of work in a day and in a week to be calculated as an average for a period of one or more weeks. Labour Standards Act, § 4 – 7.

 

Call-in Option

An employer shall pay an employee who has been called to work, irrespective of whether the work has been performed or not, wages for the minimum number of hours that may be prescribed. Labour Standards Act, § 14(a).

 

Recording Requirements

An employer shall maintain in each place of business operated by the employer in Nunavut, a correct record consisting of employee’s working hours, wages, payroll records, etc of each of his/her employees at or in connection with that place of business for a period of not less than 2 years after each record was made.

Labour Standards Act, § 46

Overtime

An employee who works in excess of the standard hours of work shall be paid for the overtime at the rate of 1.5 times his/her regular wages. Labour Standards Act, § 11.

 

Exception where General Holiday in a Week

Where a week contains a general holiday in respect of which an employee is entitled to a holiday with pay, the following shall be kept in consideration:

    • The standard hours of work shall be considered to be 8 hours in a day and 32 hours in that week;
    • The calculation of overtime shall not include the hours worked by the employee on the general holiday.

Breaks

Every employee is entitled to a meal break of at least 30 minutes following each period of five continuous hours of work. Labour Standards Meal Regulations, RRNWT (Nu) 1990 c L-4.

 

Days of Rest

An employee shall be entitled to at least one full day of rest in a week and, wherever possible, Sunday shall be that normal day of rest.  Labour Standards Act, § 10.

Sunday Work

No work shall be carried out on Sunday that is prohibited by law. Labour Standards Act, § 3(2).

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to 12 paid general holidays in Nunavut:

      • New Year’s Day
      • Good Friday
      • Easter Monday
      • Victoria Day
      • Canada Day
      • Nunavut Day
      • The First Monday in August
      • Labour Day
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Remembrance Day
      • Christmas day
      • Boxing Day
      • Any day fixed for the birthday of the reigning sovereign.

Exception where General Holiday in a Week

Where a week contains a general holiday in respect of which an employee is entitled to a holiday with pay, the following shall be kept in consideration:

        • The standard hours of work shall be considered to be 8 hours in a day and 32 hours in that week;
        • The calculation of overtime shall not include the hours worked by the employee on the general holiday.

Calculation of General Holiday Pay

          • An employee whose wages are calculated on the basis of time and who does not work on a general holiday shall be paid at least the equivalent of the regular rate of wages, which the employee would have earned for the normal hours of work.
          • An employee whose wages are calculated on any basis other than on the basis of time, and who does not work on a general holiday shall be paid at least the equivalent of his or her daily wages, based on the average of his or her daily wages for the four weeks that the employee worked immediately preceding the week in which the general holiday occurs.

Pay for Holiday Work 

            • An employee who works on a holiday is entitled to an amount equivalent to 1.5 times of his/her regular wages for the time worked on that day, in addition to the general holiday pay, or;
            • Shall be given a holiday and general vacation pay at a later time as per the agreement between the employee and the employer that is not later than the next annual vacation of the employee or the termination of his or her employment, whichever occurs first. 

Holiday on a Non-Working Day

Where a general holiday falls on a non-working day for an employee, an employer shall:

              • Pay the employee for the general holiday with vacation pay, or;
              • Provide the employee a holiday with vacation pay at a later time as per the agreement between the employee and the employer, that is not later than the next annual vacation of the employee or the termination of his or her employment, whichever occurs first.

Double Regular Rate of Wages 

An employee who works on a non-working day which falls in the same week in which the public holiday occurs, the employee shall be entitled to double his/her regular wages for the time worked by the employee on that day.

 

Where Holiday Pay not Required

An employee is not entitled to be paid in respect of a general holiday on which the employee does not work:

                • Where the employee has not worked for his or her employer a total of 30 days during the preceding 12 months;
                • Where the employee did not report to work on that day after having been called to work on that day;
                • Where without the consent of his/her employer, the employee has not reported for work on either his/her last regular working day preceding or following the general holiday; or
                • Where the employee is on pregnancy leave or parental leave.

Labour Standards Act, § 22 – 27.

Annual Leave

Eligibility

An employee is entitled to annual vacation after each year of employment with any one employer in the below manner:

      • For the first 5 years of employment, to an annual vacation with vacation pay of 2 weeks;
      • For the years of employment following the first 5 years of employment, whether or not that period of employment is made up for continuous years of employment or of years of employment accumulated within the past 10 years, to an annual vacation with vacation pay of 3 weeks.

Vacation Pay

        • An employee is eligible for 4% of the wages during a year of employment, in the case where he/she is eligible to vacation for a duration of 2 weeks;
        • An employee is eligible for 6% of the wages during a year of employment, in the case where he/she is eligible to vacation for a duration of 3 weeks;

Granting Vacation with Pay 

An employer shall provide the vacation to which the employee is entitled, not later than 10 months immediately following the completion of the year of employment, and shall provide at least one day before the beginning of the vacation or at an earlier prescribed time, vacation pay to which employee is entitled in respect of that vacation.

 

Holiday Pay on Termination of Employment

In case, the employment of the employee terminates before the completion of the employee’s year of employment, the employer shall pay – 

          • Any vacation pay due to employee in respect of any prior completed years of employment, and;
          • 4% of wages of the employee during the completed portion of his/her year of employment where the employee is entitled to 2 weeks’ vacation and 6% of the wages of the employee during the completed portion of his/her year of employment where the employee is entitled to 3 weeks’ vacation.

Labour Standards Act, § 15 – 21.

Minimum Wage

Effective April 1, 2020, the Minimum wage in Nunavut is $16 per hour.

Special Leave

Pregnancy Leave

Length of Leave

An employee is entitled to pregnancy leave of 17 consecutive weeks commencing at any time during the 17-week period immediately preceding the estimated date of delivery.

 

Extension of Leave

In cases where the actual date of delivery is after the estimated date of delivery, an employee is entitled to an extension in the pregnancy leave without pay, not exceeding the period between the estimated date of delivery and the actual date of delivery and, in any case, shall not exceed 6 consecutive weeks.

 

Leave after Delivery 

An employee who does not request pregnancy leave 4 weeks before the commencement of the leave but who has been employed by an employer for the prescribed amount of time is entitled to unpaid pregnancy leave of 6 consecutive weeks, where the employee provides the employer with a medical certificate stating that the employee has given birth on a specified day.

 

Continuation of leave

The employee shall continue the pregnancy leave until the government authority is satisfied that the employee is able to perform her duties, or The pregnancy is terminated. Labour Standards Act, § 30 – 33.

Parental Leave

Entitlement to Parental Leave 

An employee is entitled to unpaid parental leave of 37 consecutive weeks where the employee:

      • Has been employed by an employer for the prescribed amount of time;
      • Submits to the employer a written request for parental leave at least 4 weeks before the day on which the employee intends to commence the leave; and
      • Will remain at home to care for a new-born child of the employee or a child who the employee has recently adopted or with respect to whom the employee has commenced adoption proceedings.

More than One Child 

Where an employee has adopted more than one child or has commenced adoption proceedings with respect to more than one child and the children arrived at the employee’s home at the same time or substantially the same time, the children are considered to be a single child for the case of parental leave.

 

Period during which Leave must be taken

Parental leave must be taken within the period commencing on the day of birth of the newborn child or the day on which the child arrives at the employee’s home, as the case may be, and ending 1 year after that day.

 

Period where more than One Child

Where an employee plans to adopt more than one child and the children arrive at the employee’s home at substantially the same time, the employee is entitled to parental leave for the period commencing on the day the first child so arrives and ending 1 year after the day on which the last child so arrives.

 

Parental Leave following Pregnancy Leave

Where an employee takes parental leave in addition to pregnancy leave, the employee must commence the parental leave immediately on the expiration of the pregnancy leave or on the day the child arrives at the employee’s home, unless another agreement exists between the employee and the employer.

 

Maximum Combined Leave 

The maximum period of combined pregnancy and parental leave to which an employee is entitled is 52 weeks.  

 

Entitlement to an Extension of Parental Leave 

An employee is entitled to extend parental leave up to 37 consecutive weeks if the employee submits to the employer a written request for extended parental leave at least 4 weeks before the day on which the employee’s parental leave would otherwise expire.

 

Period during which Leave must be taken 

Parental leave does not entitle an employee to continue to leave after the expiry of 1 year after the day of birth of the newborn child or the day on which the child is placed with the employee for the purposes of adoption, as the case may be. Labour Standards Act, § 34 – 39.

Compassionate Care Leave

An employee is entitled to leave up to 8 weeks to provide care or support to a family member of the employee if a qualified medical practitioner issues a certificate stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks from-

      • The day the certificate is issued; or
      • If the leave was commenced before the certificate was issued, the day the leave was commenced. 

Period when Leave may be taken

The leave shall only be taken during the period that starts with:

        • The first day of the week in which the certificate is issued, or
        • If the leave was commenced before the certificate was issued, the first day of the week in which the leave was commenced, if the certificate is valid from any day in that week; and

Ends with the last day of the week in which either of the following occurs:

          • The family member dies, or
          • The expiration of 26 weeks following the first day of the week of commencement of the leave.

Shorter Period 

In case, a shorter period than 26 weeks is prescribed:

            • The certificate must state that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant      risk of death within that period; and
            • That shorter period applies following the first day of the week of commencement of the leave.

Expiration of a Shorter Period

When a shorter period has expired in respect of a family member, no further leave may be taken under in respect of that family member until the minimum period of 26 weeks period has elapsed.

 

Minimum Period of Leave

A leave of absence shall only be taken in periods of not less than one week’s duration.

 

Aggregate Leave

The aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by two or more employees in respect of the care or support of the same family member shall not exceed 8 weeks period.

 

Note: “Week” means the period between midnight on Saturday and midnight on the immediately following Saturday. Labour Standards Act, § 39.1 – 39.8.

 

Leave for Reservist

An employee who has been in the employment of the same employer and is a member of the reserve force is entitled to unpaid leave for the duration of service as may be required in the forces.

 

Exception during an Emergency Situation

An employee shall not be denied such leave during an emergency situation only because that employee has not been employed for a sufficient amount of time or has not provided sufficient notice. Labour Standards Act, § 39.9 – 39.13.

Voting Leave

An employee is eligible for consecutive 2 hours paid off from work for the purpose of voting. An employer does not have an obligation to provide time off of work where the required number of consecutive hours falls outside an employee’s hours of work and within the voting hours.

Last updated on: July 16th, 2020