Payroll and Benefits Guide - Canada - Nova Scotia

Canada - Nova Scotia


Canadian Dollar (CAD)



Employer Taxes

8.23% + 1.37 CAD for every 100 CAD


Date Format


Fiscal Year

1 Jan – 31 Dec & 1 Apr – 31 March

Fun Facts

Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in terms of land area but has a rich cultural and historical heritage.

The name “Nova Scotia” means “New Scotland” in Latin, reflecting the province’s Scottish heritage and the influence of early Scottish settlers.

Nova Scotia is home to the Bay of Fundy, which is famous for having the highest tides in the world.

Nova Scotia is known for its delicious seafood.

Nova Scotia has a strong connection to shipbuilding and maritime history.

Nova Scotia is known for its picturesque lighthouses.



Employee Payroll Tax

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)5.95%
Federal Employment Insurance (EI)1.63%

Employer Payroll Tax

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)5.95%
Federal Employment insurance (maximum annual employer premium 61,500.00 CAD (EI) premiums2.28%
Workers’ Compensation contribution1.37 CAD for every 100 CAD


Payroll Cycle

Pay cycles might be monthly, semimonthly, biweekly, or hourly in Nova Scotia. Employees who are paid monthly must get their money within ten days after the conclusion of the pay period.

13th Salary

The law makes no mention of 13th salary.

Work Hours and Week

The maximum working hours are 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week, with a maximum (with overtime) of 48 hours per week, as stated in the Employment Standards Labor Code.


Employers are required to give their workers at least 150% of their usual hourly rate as overtime pay for all overtime hours worked, or one hour of paid time off.


Paid Time Off

After the first year of employment and after five years of employment, Nova Scotian workers are entitled to two consecutive weeks of yearly leave and three consecutive weeks of leave, respectively. In the first five years of employment and after five years of employment, employees are entitled to vacation pay at the rate of 4.00% of the regular wage rate of pay.

Public Holidays

In Nova Scotia, there are 6 public holidays.

Sick Days

With effect from December 1, 2022, the Canada Labour Code will be revised to grant employees in the federally regulated private sector (which is restricted to certain industries) 10 days of paid sick leave. Employees who have been continuously employed for at least 30 days will be eligible for their first three days of paid sick leave on December 31 because there is a thirty-day qualifying period.

Employees will start accruing a fourth day on February 1, 2023, and they will keep doing so at a rate of one day each month, up to a total of 10 days per year.

Maternity Leave

If an employee has worked for the company for at least a year prior to the due date, they are eligible to up to 17 weeks of leave. Maternity leave must start no earlier than the 17th week before the anticipated due date and must terminate no later than 18 weeks later. The worker is entitled to at least two more weeks of maternity leave if the delivery happens after the anticipated date.

When there is a chance that the pregnancy will end prematurely or when the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s or the unborn child’s health, special maternity leave may start four weeks before the due date. A medical certificate and two weeks’ notice are necessary.

Paternity Leave

Parental leave includes paternity leave.

Parental Leave

For the purpose of caring for a newborn or adopted child, parents are entitled to up to 63 weeks of leave. Before the week of the baby’s birth or after the child is formally adopted, the parental leave cannot start. No later than 78 weeks after the birth or adoption, the leave should start.

Maternity and parenting benefits are provided by employment insurance to:

  • Those who are absent from work due to being pregnant or having just given birth
  • Parents who take time off from work to look for their new baby or adopted child


Termination Process

Nova Scotia, Canada’s normal termination procedure. Except in cases when an employer may show adequate grounds for immediate dismissal (for example, because of misconduct), it is based on termination reasons as defined by the General Labor Law.

Notice Period

In Nova Scotia, notice periods are typically outlined in the employment contract or collective agreement and are related to the cause of termination and the length of the employee’s service:

  • For employment of up to two years: one week’s notice
  • For positions of 2-4 years: two weeks’ notice
  • 4 weeks of notice after 4-6 years of work
  • 5 weeks of notice after 6–8 years of employment
  • 8 to 10 years of service: six weeks’ notice
  • Ten years or more of employment: eight weeks’ notice

Severance Pay

Employees must have worked for the firm for at least five years in order to be eligible for severance compensation. Additionally, the company’s payroll must exceed 2.5 million Canadian dollars annually, and more than 50 employees must have been let go in the previous six months as a result of the company’s closing entirely or in part. The formula for calculating severance pay uses the usual weekly wage rate for each year of work.

Probation Period

Probation Period

A permanent employee in Nova Scotia typically serves a minimum of three months on probation.


The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is run by the Canadian government and enables foreign nationals to apply to work in Canada for a specific amount of time. The program is offered when a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident is not available or not the right fit for the role, and it covers all employment roles and expertise levels. In Nova Scotia, there are both federal (run by the Government of Canada) and provincial (run by the Government of Nova Scotia) immigration programs.


GST is assessed at 5% in Canada. The PST rate in Nova Scotia is 10%, making the total GST plus PST rate 15.00%.