What to keep in mind: Labour Edition

Having employees on your farm means there are many regulations you must comply with under the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code, and for those hiring temporary foreign workers, the provisions set by the Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program (SAWP) and Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) programs. This article will touch on just two key elements of these requirements: partial hours and the importance of documentation.

Partial Hours

Partial hours applies to those working for an hourly minimum wage. This means there is a requirement to round time up. Therefore, when an employee works over the hour but less than the half hour, they must be paid for hour and a half (e.g. 7hrs 16mins – 7hrs and 30mins). While working over the half hour, it must be rounded to the nearest hour (e.g. 7hrs and 34mins – 8 hours).


One of the most important things to keep in mind is documentation and record keeping. Ensuring there is documents to backup any changes or decisions that are made. This is of particular importance to those hiring temporary foreign workers under federal programs.  In Nova Scotia, it is the highest standard between the Labour Code and the worker contract that stands.

Reminder that if any of the following apply to you, you must have documentation confirming the employee agreed to these conditions:

–               Day of rest: record the employee agreed to waive the day of rest

–               Hours worked: record the employee agreed to work beyond the hours stated in their contract.

For more information on the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code or to speak with someone call toll free within NS: 1-888-315-0110.

Recently, NSFA applied for Labour Sector funding in order to increase our support to members. We’re excited to announce that we have received our funding agreement! This will allow us to bring on an advisor, solely dedicated to labour, which in turn will help us provide you with more tools and resources to support you as employers. Working to increase our advocacy and educational efforts to address labour shortages, labour gaps, skills training, labour legislation and more!