Tag archives: minimum wage

Hausse du salaire minimum au Québec

À compter du 1er mai 2020, le salaire minimum au Québec sera haussé de 0,60 $ l’heure, pour atteindre 13,10 $ l’heure, soit une augmentation de 4,8 % par rapport au salaire minimum en vigueur (12,50 $ l’heure)[i]. Le Québec emboîte ainsi le pas à l’Alberta, à l’Ontario et à la Colombie-Britannique en haussant le salaire minimum au-dessus de la barre de 13 $ l’heure. Cette hausse touchera 409 100 travailleurs au Québec. Alors que certains y voient une augmentation du pouvoir d’achat des travailleurs à faible revenu, d’autres y voient un effort insuffisant de la part … Continue Reading

National Minimum Wage – “On Call”, “Sleep In” employees

The Court of Appeal has held that carers who carry out overnight “sleep-in” shifts are not entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the full duration of the shift, only when they are actually performing work.

The UK National Minimum Wage Act 1998 creates the right for workers in the UK to be paid an hourly rate of remuneration for work carried out. The National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (the 2015 Regulations) (and its predecessor the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (the 1999 Regulations ))  contain complex provisions relating to how employers should calculate the number of … Continue Reading

A Framework for Modern Employment – House of commons report.

The Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committees have published a joint report on “A framework for modern employment” (the Report) which considers how the employment framework should be amended to reflect the modern workplace.

The Report acknowledges that “the expansion of self-employment and business models built around flexible work on digital platforms promise positive opportunities for entrepreneurs, workers and consumers alike”, but also stresses that the changes can also create confusion as to the rights and entitlements for workers and can add to the potential for exploitation. The Committees have therefore looked at the recommendations made … Continue Reading

Minimum wage increase in Québec: some employers are flexing their muscles

On May 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Québec was raised from $10.75/hr to $11.25/hr. Although not as substantial as the increases that have recently been implemented in other North American jurisdictions, this raise is still significant when compared with the average annual increase implemented in the province for the past 10 years.

Some employers seem to take this situation as an opportunity to reorganize their employees’ working conditions in the name of profitability. For example, it has been reported in the media that some employers have decided to stop offering the usual 15-minute coffee breaks (which have to be … Continue Reading

Key employment law developments expected during 2017 in Québec

In the course of the year, it will be interesting to see how the Government of Québec will deal with pay equity matters. In an important decision issued last October, the Québec Court of Appeal declared that several sections of the Pay Equity Act were unconstitutional. More specifically, it struck down the ’09 provisions dealing with the maintain and posting exercises. The Attorney General has filed an application for leave to appeal of this decision before the Supreme court so nothing is settled yet. In addition, the federal government recently announced its intention to compel employers subject to the federal … Continue Reading

Key employment law developments expected in 2017

A significant amount of new employment legislation is expected or is already in place for 2017. Key changes will be in the hiring of temporary workers through an agency (referred to as “personnel leasing” in Germany), employee protection and equal treatment.

Reform of laws regarding personnel leasing

One of the main developments in 2017 will be the long expected reform of the German Act on Temporary Employment (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG), as well as other related laws, with effect from 01 April 2017. Aiming to reinforce the rights of temporary workers during personnel leasing and in particular to prevent … Continue Reading

Texas federal judge puts the brakes on the DOL’s new overtime regulations

Employers who had been searching for a way to best  implement the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations (the “Final Rule”), which are set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, received an early holiday gift on Tuesday, and from one of President Obama’s appointed jurists, no less.  On November 22nd, Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against implementation of the overtime regulations.  As a result, the Department of Labor will not  be able to enforce the regulations as of  December 1, 2016.

The Final Rule, … Continue Reading

Overtime overhaul – small businesses want more time to prepare

With just about 90 days to go before the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule dramatically updating overtime regulations is scheduled to go into effect, small business owners have petitioned the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division seeking more time to prepare for and implement changes to the way they operate their businesses so that they can remain compliant with wage laws. In a parallel move, on September 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives also voted in favor of the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act, which would delay implementation of the DOL’s final overtime rule … Continue Reading

What rights and protections are there for workers on zero hours contracts in Germany?

Unlike in the U.K. and other EU member states, zero hours contracts are not (yet) common practice in Germany. To date, other arrangements aimed at achieving “flexible working” such as fixed-term or part-time contracts, secondment of personnel and – more recently – contracts to provide services have been more widespread. However, as German case law and legislation are gradually restricting the flexibility once offered by these arrangements, zero hours contracts are increasingly being used in Germany (in particular with regard to care workers, teachers, and paramedics).

Typical provisions which can be found in employment contracts read for example:

“The working Continue Reading

Alberta on Track to Raise Minimum Wage to $15-per-hour by 2018

Alberta’s New Democratic Party (NDP) government is moving forward on its 2015 campaign promise to raise minimum wage to $15-per-hour by 2018. The raise to $15-per-hour is being applied incrementally. On October 1, 2015, Alberta’s minimum wage rose from $10.20 to $11.20. For those who serve liquor, the minimum wage rose from $9.20 to $10.70. The next wage increase is scheduled for October, 2016 and will increase the minimum wage by $1 to $12.20-per-hour. The following two increases will occur in October 2017 and 2018.

The upcoming minimum wage increase will apply to employees in almost every industry, … Continue Reading

Fair P(l)ay in Germany? – What measures are in place (or proposed) to address gender pay inequality in the workplace

This post was also contributed by Ebru Tirel, Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Munich).

In Germany, “Equal Pay Day” is widely observed. It marks the day from which women are deemed to start to earn wages in that calendar year, where men have started to earn wages since January 1st. This year, Equal Pay Day was on 19 March.

According to a report of the German Federal Statistical Office DESTATIS dated 16 March 2016 regarding the gender pay gap in 2015, women earn 21 percent less than men. This inequality is due to various factors: Women often choose professions in … Continue Reading

Bit-wise operations: paying employees in Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are very much “in vogue”. “Currencies” like bitcoin are maintained by computer-based algorithms, rather than the government or a central bank. They are so popular  that it’s been reported on in the past that employees have been rejecting Canadian dollar salaries for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

That said, there are not many financial benefits to an employer for paying employees in bitcoin, but there may be recruitment benefits. Employees can be attracted by the possibility to receiving wages in Bitcoins.  Bitcoins offer users anonymity, low transaction fees, and greater freedom from freezes or interruptions that banks … Continue Reading

Changes to UK employment law – October 2015

With effect from 1 October 2015 certain provisions affecting UK employment law under the Deregulation Act 2015, come into force. The changes are:

  • The removal of the power of employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination cases. With effect from 1 October tribunals can only make recommendations relating to the individual complainant. The UK Government’s view was that employers often make changes to their practices and procedures following a tribunal’s decision without the requirement for a formal recommendation and indeed, in practice, wider recommendations were rarely made. Section 124(3)(a) Equality Act 2010 remains in force, permitting tribunals to
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Travelling time for mobile workers can constitute working time.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that, for workers with no fixed or habitual place of work, time spent travelling between their homes and the premises of the first and last customers designated by their employer constitutes “working time” within the meaning of the EU Working Time Directive.

The case was a reference from Spain and involved security systems technicians who were assigned to the central office of the employer, but who had responsibility for a particular province or area. As there were no longer regional offices, the employees used company vehicles to travel to and from their … Continue Reading

Checks and balances at work: Fifth Circuit reins in U.S. Department of Labor in Fair Labor Standards Act case

On July 2, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) liable for an employer’s attorneys’ fees resulting from a bungled and abusive investigation of alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The facts of the case – Gate Guard Services, L.P. v. Thomas E. Perez – are a sobering reminder to employers that the DOL is not a federal agency to be trifled with. On the other hand, the opinion also sounds a warning to the DOL that when they choose “to defend the indefensible in an indefensible … Continue Reading

What rights do employees have to a minimum wage in Hong Kong?

After much heated debate over the years, the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Cap. 608) (“Ordinance”) came into force in Hong Kong on 1 May 2011. Before the implementation of the Ordinance, Hong Kong was one of the few places in the world without any sort of minimum wage law. The Ordinance is undoubtedly a milestone as far as the protection of the rights of employees, particularly low-income workers, in Hong Kong is concerned.… Continue Reading

What right do employees have to a minimum wage in the province of Quebec?

The majority of workers in the province of Quebec are entitled to receive the minimum wage established by the provincial government. The right to the minimum wage is set out in the Act respecting labour standards, which applies to most provincially-regulated employers and employees.

Certain categories of workers have clearly been exempted from the minimum wage requirement under the Regulations respecting labour standards:

  • students employed in a non-profit organization having social or community purposes (such as a vacation camp or a recreational organization);
  • trainees under a programme of vocational training recognized by law;
  • trainees under a programme of
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What rights do employees have to a minimum wage?

Article 145 of the Labor Code, states the right that every employee has to receive a minimum wage that allows fulfilling personal and familiar needs. According to labor provisions in this regard, the following criteria shall be taken into account when determining the amount of the minimum wage: cost of living, working modalities, companies´ economic capacity, specific conditions of each region or economic activity, place of work and special circumstances of some employers that have to provide special benefits (feeding and housing aids) to their employees.

The Constitutional Court has pronounced in several opportunities, not only about the right to … Continue Reading

What rights do employees have to a minimum wage in France?

Under French employment law, employers are generally free to determine the remuneration package to be provided to their employees in accordance with the working of the free markets. However, such liberty is traditionally limited in particular by the principle of equal work for equal pay and the obligations relating to minimum wage.

In this respect, the principal employees’ right is the minimum wage required by law and which extends to all adult employees in France for all sectors of activity. Basically, such minimum wage is a minimum hourly salary below which no employee can be remunerated and is currently fixed … Continue Reading

What rights do employees have to a minimum wage in the UK?

A legal entitlement to a minimum wage was first introduced in the UK in 1999 when the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (the Act) came into force.

What is the National Minimum Wage?

The national minimum wage (NMW) is a specified minimum hourly rate of pay to which most workers are entitled. The rate is increased each year. The current standard adult rate (as from October 2014) is £6.50 per hour. This applies to most workers aged 21 and over although special rules apply to certain categories of worker, such as family workers (i.e. those who work in their employer’s … Continue Reading

What rights do employees have to a minimum wage in Germany?

As from 1 January 2015, a minimum wage of € 8.50 has been introduced for the first time in Germany – this generally applies to all employees. However, there are some exceptions. For example, the minimum wage does not have to be paid to interns on a mandatory internship, apprentices, adolescents under the age of 18 without a completed apprenticeship, voluntary workers or former long-term unemployed people during the first six months of a new employment.

The amount of € 8.50 refers to the “normal performance” of the employee meaning that additional payments such as surcharges for night employment have … Continue Reading

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 – new employment legislation in the UK

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (the SBEEA) received Royal Assent in the UK on 26 March 2015, although most of the employment provisions contained in Part 11 require a commencement order to bring them into force. It is therefore not certain when many of the provisions listed below will have effect. The exception is the provisions on employment tribunal postponements which came into force on 26 March 2015 .


  • Equal Pay Transparency: Section 147 of the SBEEA requires that as soon as possible and by no later than 26 March 2016 regulations must be made
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