Canada: Jurisdictional Summary- New Brunswick

Last Updated: December 19 2014
Practice Guide by Blaney McMurtry LLP

All references are to the Employment Standards Act, SNB 1982, c E-7.2, unless noted otherwise.

HOURS OF WORK Subject to ss. 17, 39 and 41, there is no limit on the number of hours an employee may work during any daily, weekly or monthly period 14

As per regulation, the maximum number of hours per week before overtime must be paid is 44 O.C. 2011-267 s. 4
EATING PERIODS An employer shall allow an employee at least one-half hour for food and rest after each five consecutive hours of work: Occupational Health and Safety Act, OC 91-1035
REST PERIODS Employer shall give to the employee a weekly rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours, and it shall be taken, if possible, through Sunday or, if the Director approves, accumulated and taken later, either part at a time or all together: 17(1).

An employee may refuse to work on a Sunday if the work is in a retail business or part of a retail business that is exempted from the application of the Days of Rest Act: 17.1(2), but the employee must give the employer verbal or written notice of refusal at least fourteen days before any Sunday on which the employee refuses to work: 17.1(4)
OVERTIME Maximum hours of work may be amended by regulation: 15(1), and where they are, an employee who works for an employer in excess of the prescribed maximum hours of work shall be paid by the employer at a rate of not less than 1 ½ times the minimum wage rate: 16

For time worked in excess of the maximum number of hours of work (44) in a week, the minimum wage is $15 an hour: O.C. 2011-267 s. 6
MINIMUM WAGE Fixed by regulation: 9(1)

Unless exempt, every employer must pay minimum wage: 9(3).

Employers must post and keep posted in a conspicuous place a copy of all applicable minimum wage regulations: 11(2).

As of April 1, 2012, the minimum wage is $10.00 per hour, or $440 per week where employees whose hours of work per week are unverifiable: O.C. 2011-267 s.5(1)(3) (Current to May 23, 2014)

For time worked in excess of the maximum number of hours of work (44) in a week, the minimum wage is $15 an hour: O.C. 2011-267 s. 6
VACATION For employees who have worked less than eight continuous years for an employer, the lesser of two weeks or one day for each calendar month the employee worked during the vacation pay year to be granted within four months of the conclusion of the vacation pay year: 24(1).

For employees who have worked for more than eight continuous years, a minimum three consecutive weeks or one and one-quarter days for each calendar month during the vacation pay year worked, whichever is less: 24(1.1).
HOLIDAYS Employer shall give to an employee a holiday on each public holiday and pay to the employee her regular wages for each public holiday: 18(2); where the holiday falls on a working day, the employee may with agreement of the employer, substitute another working day for the public holiday: 18(3).

Where an employee works on a public holiday, the employer shall pay to the employee not less than 1 ½ times her regular rate of wages and, where the employee is entitled to the holiday with pay, her regular wages in addition thereto: 19(1).
MINIMUM WORKING AGE No employer shall employ a person under sixteen years of age (a) in employment that is likely to be unwholesome or harmful to the person's health, welfare or moral or physical development, (b) for more than six hours in any day, (c) for more than three hours on any school day, (d) on any day for a period which, when added to the time required for school, would require the person to spend a total of eight hours attending school and working, or (e) between the hour of ten o'clock in the afternoon and six in the forenoon of the following day: 39.

Persons under fourteen years cannot work in (a) any industrial undertaking, (b) the forest industry, (c) the construction industry, (d) in a garage or automotive service station, (e) in a hotel or restaurant (f) in a theatre, dance hall or shooting gallery, (g) as an elevator operator: 40.
EQUAL PAY No employer shall pay an employee of one sex at a different rate of pay from that which he pays to an employee of the other sex for work that is (a) performed in the same establishment, (b) substantially the same in nature, (c) requires substantially the same skill, effort and responsibility, and (d) is performed under similar working conditions, except where due to a (e) seniority system, (f) merit system, (g) systems that measure earnings by quantity or quality of production, or (h) any other system or practice that is not otherwise unlawful: 37.1(1).
LEAVES OF ABSENCE MATERNITY – up to seventeen weeks without pay beginning at any time after eleven weeks before the specified date of delivery: 42.

CHILD CARE – where the employee is the parent of a newborn or adopted child, up to 37 consecutive weeks or such shorter period as the employee requests to care for the child: 44.02(2).

SICK – leave of absence without pay for up to five days during a twelve calendar month period where the employee has been employed for over 90 days: 44.021(1).

FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY – up to three days during the year to meet responsibilities related to the health, care or education of a person in a close family relationship with the employee: 44.022(1).

COURT LEAVE – leave without pay for period where employee is (a) summoned to serve on a jury, (b) selected to serve on a jury, or (c) served with a summons to attend at the hearing of an action, application or proceeding as a witness: 44.023(1).

COMPASSIONATE CARE – up to eight weeks to provide care or support to a person in close a family relationship of the employee if a certificate is issued by a medical practitioner stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks from the day the certificate was issued: 44.024(2).

CRITICAL ILLNESS – where an employee is the parent of a critically ill child, an employer shall grant the employee up to 37 weeks without pay to provide care or support to that child: 44.025(3).

DEATH OR DISAPPEARANCE – where the employee is the parent of a child who has disappeared or died and it is probable that the child died as a result of a crime, up to 37 weeks without pay: 44.026(2) and (3).

BEREAVEMENT – up to give consecutive days without pay on the death of a person in a close family relationship with the employee to be taken during the period of bereavement and to begin no later than the day of the funeral: 44.03(2).

RESERVISTS – up to 18 months without pay for the purpose of service if the employee has been employed for at least six months: 44.031(3).

Up to 30 continuous days for the purpose of training: 44.031(4).
TERMINATION/SEVERANCE Notice in writing required of:
  1. Two weeks where the employee has been employed between six months and five years;
  2. Four weeks where the employee has been employed for over five years: 30.

Does not apply in instances of fixed term employment contracts: 31(3).

EXEMPTIONS Except for persons under the age of sixteen, the Act does not apply to employment contracts for the provision of agricultural services between employees and employers who employ three or fewer employees over a substantial period of the year, exclusive of employees who are in a close family relationship with the employer: 5.

The following professions are exempted from holiday pay requirements, and ss. 18-22 of the Act:
  1. Architecture;
  2. Dentistry;
  3. Law;
  4. Medicine;
  5. Chiropody;
  6. Optometry;
  7. Professional engineering;
  8. Public or chartered accounting;
  9. Psychology;
  10. Surveying;
  11. Veterinary science;
  12. Real estate salesmen;
  13. Automobile and mobile home salesmen; and
  14. Salesmen, other than route salesmen, who are entitled to receive all or part of their remuneration as commissions in respect of offers to purchase, sale of merchandise or services, such as are normally made other than at or in the employer's establishment. NB Reg 85-179, s. 3
This document is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or rely on any information in this document without first seeking legal advice. This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any specific questions on any legal matter, you should consult a professional legal services provider.

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