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Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador: 2024 Updates

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Minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador aims to establish a fair baseline pay that rises appropriately with economic conditions. In Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), the current general minimum wage is $15.60 per hour as of April 1, 2024. This article extensively examines NL’s minimum wage landscape in 2024.

Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador 2024

Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador 2024
Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador 2024

Effective April 1, 2024, NL’s general minimum wage rose 4% to $15.60 per hour, up from $15.00 per hour.

The 4% increase matched NL’s 2023 inflation rate. Under the province’s formula, the minimum wage rises annually each April 1 by the prior year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) percentage change, rounded to the nearest $0.05.

Source: https://loanscanada.ca/minimum-wage/newfoundland-and-labrador/

Recent Minimum Wage in NL Increases

NL’s minimum wage has seen considerable increases in recent years:

Effective DateMinimum Wage% Increase
Oct 1, 2023$15.00/hour4.8%
Apr 1, 2023$14.50/hour5.5%
Oct 1, 2022$13.70/hour3.8%
Apr 1, 2022$13.20/hour4.7%
Oct 1, 2021$12.75/hour4.0%

From October 2021 to April 2024, NL’s minimum wage rose 22% from $12.75 to $15.60 per hour.

Historical Overview of Minimum Wage Rates in Newfoundland and Labrador

NL’s minimum wage has substantially increased from the 1950s:

YearMinimum WageNotes
1953$0.50/hour (males)
$0.35/hour (females)
First minimum wage introduced
1968$1.10/hour (males)
$0.85/hour (females)
1970$1.25/hourEqualized wage for both genders

Trends evident from the data:

  • The minimum wage consistently rose each decade from the 1950s through the 2010s.
  • The gap between male and female minimum wages closed by 1970.
  • The pace of increases has accelerated since 2010 compared to prior decades.

Source: https://www.stats.gov.nl.ca/Statistics/Topics/minimumwage/PDF/Minimum_Wage_Rate.pdf

Minimum Wage Regulations and Rules in Newfoundland and Labrador

Beyond the hourly rate, NL has necessary minimum wage regulations:

Overtime Pay

  • Overtime hours over 40/week must be paid 1.5 times the minimum wage rate.
  • Therefore, overtime pay is $22.50/hour based on the $15.60 minimum wage.

Statutory Holidays

  • Employees get 6 paid public holidays per year.
  • If required to work those days, employees get 2 times their regular minimum wage.
  • Therefore, statutory holiday pay is currently $31.20/hour at minimum wage.


  • Employers cannot deduct pay for costs like uniforms, cash shortages, or property damage.
  • The only legal deductions are taxes, EI, CPP, court orders, and authorized voluntary deductions.

Time Off Instead of Overtime Pay

  • Employees can agree to receive 1.5 hours of paid vacation time for each overtime hour worked, rather than pay.
  • This banked time must be used within 3 months.
  • Agreements must be finalized within 12 months.

Minimum 3 Hour Pay for On-Call

  • If called into work, employees must receive at least 3 hours of pay, even for less time worked.
  • This does not apply if already scheduled for <3 Hours.

Violating regulations may result in fines under NL’s Labour Standards Act.

Source: https://moneygenius.ca/blog/minimum-wage-newfoundland

Perspectives on Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador

Perspectives on Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador
Perspectives on Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador

Minimum wage hikes impact different groups, prompting debate:

Struggles of Minimum Wage Workers

Many earners say the $15.60 minimum wage does not cover basic living expenses:

  • A 2022 study calculated the living wage for St. John’s at $26.80/hour (Source)
  • Anti-poverty groups estimate the living wage in other NL communities to be around $18-20/hour.
  • Minimum wage workers state they perform difficult jobs requiring skill, often serving customers.

Perspectives from Experts

  • Minimum wage hikes within a certain range do not significantly impact overall employment, though some job reduction occurs in high-impact sectors.
  • However, the C.D. Howe Institute argues that earned income supplements for low-income workers are preferable to broad minimum wage hikes. 

The Path Ahead for Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador

What comes next for minimum wage in NL? Here are a few considerations:

Potential Future Increases

As mentioned, the current formula indexes future increases to inflation. This will likely result in a modest minimum wage hike in April 2025 and beyond.

However, if inflation cools substantially in 2024, the formula may only trigger an increase of a few cents. Groups calling for a living wage argue the formula should include other benchmarks like living costs.

The Call for a $18-20 Living Wage

Living wage estimates aim to quantify the hourly rate needed to afford necessities and participate in the community.

Anti-poverty groups estimate a living wage in Newfoundland and Labrador’s major centres is around $18 to $20 per hour – significantly above the current $15.60 minimum wage.

They contend the minimum wage must rise to close this gap and deliver income security. However, governments also need to balance costs for businesses.

Ongoing Issues to Monitor

Looking ahead, key issues to monitor around minimum wage include:

  • Consistent reviews – Regularly re-evaluating benchmarks and costs through forums like the Minimum Wage Review Committee.
  • Support programs – Ensuring transitional supports are in place for vulnerable employers like non-profits and rural small businesses.
  • Enforcement – Protecting vulnerable workers through proactive enforcement of regulations.
  • Macro impacts – Tracking more significant impacts on inflation, spending and the labour market to guide policy.


Newfoundland and Labrador’s minimum wage of $15.60/hour, after considerable recent increases, represents one of the highest rates in Canada.

The ongoing debate focuses on whether it provides a decent standard of living for workers or imposes high costs on businesses. Governments hope to strike the right balance with the minimum wage policy by carefully assessing the impacts and balancing these factors.

The minimum wage in Canada is determined by each individual province and territory. The provincial and territorial governments set their own minimum wage rates and standards through legislative statutes appropriate for their jurisdiction’s economic conditions and cost of living. Currently, minimum wage rates vary across the different provinces and territories.

How is minimum wage determined in Newfoundland and Labrador?

The minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador is determined using a formula that bases annual increases on the prior year's inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The wage is raised by the percentage change in CPI and rounded to the nearest $0.05.

What is the current minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador?

The current minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador is $15.60 per hour as of April 1, 2024.

When was the last increase to minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador?

The last increase to minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador was on April 1, 2024 when it was raised from $15.00 to $15.60 per hour.

How frequently is minimum wage increased in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Minimum wage is increased annually on April 1st in Newfoundland and Labrador based on the prior year's CPI.

How does Newfoundland and Labrador's minimum wage compare to other provinces?

Newfoundland and Labrador has the 5th highest minimum wage out of the 13 provinces and territories. As of April 2024, it is $15.60, compared to a range of $12.35 (Manitoba) to $16.85 (Nunavut).

Which province has the highest minimum wage in Canada?

Nunavut currently has the highest minimum wage in Canada at $16.85 per hour as of April 2024.

Why are there exemptions to the minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Exemptions in certain sectors exist to account for unique workforce needs. For example, fish harvesters are exempt as they are paid through catch shares, and camp counselors due to provision of room/board.

How is overtime pay calculated based on minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador?

The minimum overtime pay rate is 1.5 times the regular minimum wage. At the current $15.60 wage, overtime pay is $23.40 per hour.

What industries have the most minimum wage earners in Newfoundland and Labrador?

The food services sector accounts for the highest proportion at 35% of minimum wage earners in the province.

What alternatives exist besides raising minimum wage to support low income earners in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Other options include earned income tax benefits, guaranteed annual income programs, sectoral wage supports, and investing in skills development and training.

Article Sources

At Ebsource, we adhere to strict editorial principles and reference only credible sources in all our content. This allows us to produce insights readers can trust when making important benefits decisions. For complete transparency, find links to the referenced sources below.

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