HALIFAX -- The minimum wage in Nova Scotia is increasing by 40 cents an hour effective April 1.

With the change, it will mean Nova Scotia will have the second highest minimum wage in Atlantic Canada – just five cents under Prince Edward Island's minimum wage, whose rate will increase to $13.00 an hour on April 1.

On Tuesday, Lena Metlege Diab, the Labour and Advanced Education minister, announced they have accepted recommendations from the Minimum Wage Review Committee that minimum wage should be increased by 30 cents, plus, the national consumer price index, which is 10 cents for 2020.

In total, minimum wage will have an overall increase of 40 cents, bringing it to $12.95 an hour.

"This year, COVID-19 has caused unprecedented economic challenges across all sectors," said Metlege Diab. "That's why we need to ensure our economy can grow in a fair and balanced way for both employees and employers. I want to thank the Minimum Wage Review Committee for recommending a solution that supports both interests."

The recommendation from the Minimum Wage Review Committee, which includes employee and employer representatives, submitted its report with the minister of Labour and Advanced Education on Jan. 4.

The committee also recommended that a further review of the current rate and approach to setting minimum wage be conducted, and that other options to setting it be explored.

This recommendation will be considered in the coming weeks.