NWT (Northwest Territories) Provincial Payroll Information

This page provides provincial payroll information for the Northwest Territories. Click one of the links below to move directly to the corresponding section. To view Federal information, please click here.

Choose a Topic:

Minimum Wage  Hours of work  Worker's Compensation  Leaves  Statutory Holidays  Minimum Age  Pay Statements  Terminations  Vacationable Earnings  Provincial Health


  • TD1 - Basic Personal Amount - Every person employed in Northwest Territories and every pensioner residing in Northwest Territories can claim the personal exemption amount of $17,373 for 2024 (up from $16,593 in 2023).
  • Federal Basic Exemption - The Federal Basic Exemption amount is $15,705 in 2024 (up from $15,000 in 2023).

Note: This information is meant to serve as a guide only. Readers are encouraged to consult the full legislation of the Northwest Territories Employment Standards Act. Here are some online resources:

Minimum Wage in NWT

The province of Northwest Territories has one wage rate standard as follows:

Parties Applicable Wage Rate
Over age 16 $16.05 as of September 1, 2023 (rising to an estimated $17.00 on September 1, 2024). As of September 1, 2023, the minimum wage is adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Yellowknife and the change in the NWT average hourly wage (AHW) for the preceding calendar year.

Hours of Work in NWT

The type of employee excluded from this legislature are government employees, commissioned salespeople, businesses with all family members, etc.

Period Rate
Maximum 10 hours/day and 60 hours/week
* ** Exclude statutory hours from overtime calculation and reduce the work week by the statutory hours
Overtime 8.00 hours/day or 40.00 hours/week whichever is greater
Overtime Rate 1 and 1/2 times the employee's regular rate of pay
Double Time If employee works on another day of rest in same week as the Statutory holiday
Double Time Rate 2 times regular rate of pay
Break Period 1/2 hour per consecutive 5 hours worked
Rest Period At least 24 consecutive hours/week

Worker's Compensation in NWT

The Maximum Assessable Earnings amount for 2024 is $110,600 (up from $107,400 in 2023). The deadline for submission is the last day of February.

Car allowances (if taxable) Pay in lieu of notice
Bonuses (cash) Regular salary or wages/overtime
Call back pay RRSP
Call in pay Shift Premium
Clothing allowances (if taxable) Sick Pay (Paid during year)
Commissions Standby pay
Gifts (cash and in-kind) Temporary layoff
Gratuities Travel allowances (if taxable)
Maternity leave Vacation Pay/Statutory Holiday Pay
Moving allowances (if taxable) WCB top-up
Taxable Benefits such as:
Board & Lodging Life Insurance
Company car Loans
Directors' Fees Severance Pay
Long-term disability paid by the employer Short-term disability paid by the employer
Maternity with pay Sick pay on termination
Medical premiums (provincial) Stock options
Pre-retirement with pay Temporary lay-off with pay
Private health care WCB
Retiring allowance  

Leaves of Absence in NWT

Bereavement Leave
Time with Employer N/A
Required Notice N/A
Length of Leave 3 days if funeral takes place in community where the employee resides, or 7 days if the funersl takes place outside the community.
Paid No
Compassionate Leave
Time with Employer 90 Days
Required Notice Written notice stating that the family member has significant risk of death within 26 weeks.
Length of Leave 27 weeks (up from 8 weeks).
Paid No. Other federal programs may provide income replacement.
Court Leave
Time with Employer N/A
Required Notice N/A
Length of Leave Whatever period is required to perform the court-related duties.
Paid No
Family Caregiver Leave
Time with Employer Six consecutive months.
Required Notice Written request with expected leave duration. The employer may request a medical certificate.
Length of Leave 17 weeks for a critically ill adult, and 37 weeks for a critically ill child.
Paid No
Family Violence Leave
Time with Employer Three consecutive months for paid leave, and at least one consecutive month for unpaid leave.
Required Notice Reasonable verification of the necessity of the leave.
Length of Leave 5 days paid and 5 days unpaid. An additional option of up to 15 unpaid weeks in a 52-week period will also be available with prior written notice.
Paid First 5 days paid with up to 15 weeks unpaid.
Pregnancy Leave
Time with Employer One year.
Required Notice Four weeks written notice.
Length of Leave 17 weeks taken no sooner than 17 weeks before the expected date of birth.
Extension of Leave 6 weeks
Benefits Maintained No
Parental Leave
Time with Employer One year.
Required Notice As soon as possible.
Length of Leave 61 consecutive weeks (up from 37 consecutive weeks).
Benefits Maintained No
Reservists Leave
Time with Employer Six months.
Required Notice In writing, with as much notice as reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.
Length of Leave Employees can take unpaid leave for as long as they continue to serve.
Paid No
Sick Leave
Time with Employer 30 days.
Required Notice N/A
Length of Leave 5 days per calendar year.
Paid No
Voting Leave
Time with Employer N/A
Required Notice N/A
Length of Leave three consecutive hours
Paid According to the Canada Elections Act, any eligible voter must have three consecutive hours to exercise their right to vote on an election day. If an employee does not have three consecutive hours because of their work schedule, they must be granted the hours accordingly with pay.

Statutory Holidays in NWT

Holiday 2024 2023 2022 2021 Day Observed
New Year's Day Mon., January 1 Sun., January 1 Sat., January 1 Fri., January 1 January 1
Good Friday Fri., March 29 Fri., April 7 Fri., April 15 Fri., April 2 The Friday before Easter Sunday
Victoria Day Mon, May 20 Mon, May 22 Mon., May 23 Mon, May 24 The Monday preceding May 25th
National Aboriginal Day Fri., June 21 Wed., June 21 Tue., June 21 Mon., June 21 June 21
Canada Day Mon., July 1 Sat., July 1 Fri., July 1 Thu., July 1 July 1
Labour Day Mon., September 2 Mon., September 4 Mon., September 5 Mon., September 6 The First Monday in September
Thanksgiving Day Mon., October 14 Mon., October 9 Mon., October 10 Mon., October 11 The Second Monday in October
Remembrance Day Mon., November 11 Sat., November 11 Fri., November 11 Thu., November 11 November 113
Christmas Day Wed., December 25 Mon., December 25 Sun., December 25 Sat., December 25 December 25

According to the Canadian Labour Standards Code, whenever the following holidays occur on a Saturday or Sunday, New Year's Day, Canada Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day, the employer must grant his or her employee a holiday with pay on the next working day immediately preceding or following the holiday, providing that the holiday is a provincial requirement. If a statutory holiday is worked on a regularly scheduled work day, an employee must either receive their regular pay plus time and a half or receive their regular pay and be granted a day off with pay some other time before their next annual vacation or their termination.

How to Calculate Statutory Holiday Pay...

Minimum Age in NWT

As long as the employer meets the Labour Standards requirements a child under 17 can be employed in any occupation. Although their is a requirement to get written approval from the Labour Standards Officer for employment in construction. There must also be granted permission for anyone under the age of 17 to work hours between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Pay Statements

For the Northwest Territories the pay is required monthly or more frequently. The employee must receive their pay within ten days after each pay period. By legislation, Northwest Territories pay statements must contain the following (though employers may include additional items):

Pay Statement Inclusions
Rate of pay Net pay
Dates of pay periods Itemized Deductions
Bonus, living allowance Statutory, public, general and holiday pay hours
Total hours worked  

Termination Notice in NWT

Individual Termination
Length of Employment Notice Required
Under 90 days None
Between 90 days and 3 years 2 weeks
3 years or more For every year after 3 years an additional week is required up to 8 weeks in total
Group Termination
Number of Employees Notice Required
25 to 49 4 weeks
50 to 99 8 weeks
100 to 299 12 weeks
300 or more 16 weeks

Vacationable Earnings in NWT

Inclusions and Exclusions
Bonuses (work related, cash) Overtime pay
Call back pay Profit Sharing
Call in pay Regular salary/wages
Commissions earned at employer's premises Retroactive pay
Commissions earned by a route salesman Shift premium
Commissions earned away from employer's premises Statutory - General Holidays
In lieu of notice pay/Termination pay Vacation pay (previously paid - not clearly addressed)
Allowances (car, clothing, moving, etc.) Retiring allowance (lump sum and installments)
Directors' fees Severance/Plant severance (not clearly addressed)
Discretionary bonuses (cash) Sick pay - Sick days
Gifts (cash or in kind) Standby pay
Maternity leave top-ups Statutory (company holidays, floaters - not clearly addressed)
Profit sharing payments Tips and Gratuities (employer controlled)
Taxable Benefits:
Board & lodging Life Insurance
Company car RRSP
Parking Stock options
Provincial medical Loans

Vacation Entitlement
Length of employment Entitlement
1 to 4 years 2 weeks or 4%
5 years or more 3 weeks or 6%

Provincial Health

The NWT payroll tax is 2% of gross remuneration for each employee. The GNWT taxation regime is designed to provide financial resources to help meet the Territories' responsibilities in funding public services such as health care and education. Although it is the employee who pays the tax, employers are required to withhold the tax from their employees' pay, and remit the tax directly to the GNWT.


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