• Sets out the minimum standards that apply to employees and employers
  • All of these rules apply whether an employee is part-time or full-time
  • Extremely important to receive a work agreement when starting a job
  • Employees must keep track of all documents received from the company and keep track of all hours worked

The Alberta Employment Standards Code applies to all workers except those in the following industries:

  • Banking
  • Marine Shipping
  • Ferry and Port Services
  • Air Transportation, including Airports, Aerodromes and Airlines
  • Railway
  • Road Transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders
  • Canals
  • Pipelines
  • Tunnels and Bridges (crossing provincial borders)
  • Telephone, Telegraph and Cable Systems
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting
  • Grain Elevators
  • Feed and Seed Mills
  • Uranium Mining and Processing
  • Businesses dealing with the protection of Fisheries as a natural resource
  • Many First Nation activities
  • Most Federal Crown Corporations

The Canada Labour Code covers anyone working in the industries listed above.  Please see the Canada Labour Code section if you work in the industries listed above.

Minimum Wage

  • General minimum wage – $13.60/hour
  • Certain salespeople – $542.00/week
  • Live-in caregivers – $2,582.00/month

Minimum Number of Hours of Work/Day

  • Most areas of employment – 3 hours/day worked
  • School bus drivers – 2 hours/day worked
  • Workers aged 12, 13 or 14 – 2 hours/day worked on school days
  • Part-time employees in certain not-for-profit recreation or athletic programs – 2 hours/day worked

Payment of Earnings

5 time frames employers can pay an employee

  • Daily
  • Weekly = 52 times/year
  • Bi-weekly = 26 times/year
  • Semi-monthly = 24 times/year
  • Monthly = 12 times/year

Must be paid within 10 calendar days of the end of the pay period.

Must receive a statement of earnings and deductions, paystub or payslip when paid to explain money earned and money deducted.

Hours of Work

  • Cannot be scheduled for more than 12 hours/day
  • Must be 8 hours between the end of one shift and the beginning of another

Hours of Rest

  • Must receive 30 minute break after first 5 hours of consecutive work
  • This break can be paid or unpaid

Days Worked/Days Off

  • Work 6 days in a row = 1 day off
  • Work 14 days in a row = 2 days off
  • Work 21 days in a row = 3 days off
  • Work 24 days in a row = 4 days off

Overtime

  • Any hours worked over 8 hours/day or 44 hours/week whichever is greater is considered overtime (only count paid hours, do not count unpaid breaks)
  • Supervisors and managers are not entitled to any overtime compensation.  To be considered a supervisor or manager an employee must be able to hire, fire or schedule other employees (this includes assigning job duties)
  • Certain industries have different rules (i.e. geophysical exploration, oil well servicing)

Overtime Pay

Compensation of overtime can be done in 2 ways:

  • Overtime is paid out at 1.5 times the rate of pay

OR

  • Time off can be taken for overtime hours worked and paid out at overtime rate of pay

Vacation

After working for a certain amount of time an employee is entitled to vacation:

  • After 1 year (in year 2 of work) = 2 work weeks
  • After 5 years (in year 6 of work) = 3 work weeks
  • Anything more than 5 years in only 3 work weeks of vacation/year

Certain industries have different rules (i.e. construction, brush clearing)

Vacation Pay

  • 2 work weeks of vacation is paid out at 4 of an employee’s regular earnings
  • 3 work weeks of vacation is paid out at 6% of an employee’s regular earnings

Vacation time can either be paid or unpaid and an employee can find this out on their first pay cheque

  • If there is an amount listed under vacation while an employee is working, when the employee takes vacation they will not receive any money because it was already paid out throughout the year before vacation as taken
  • If there is no amount listed under vacation while an employee is working, when the employee takes vacation they will receive the vacation pay at that time

Any vacation time not taken by end of employment must be paid on last cheque

Certain industries have different rules (i.e. construction, brush clearing)

General Holidays

There are 9 general holidays under the Alberta Employment Standards Code:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Alberta Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

Any other day the employer designates as a general holiday will be recognized as a general holiday.

Certain industries have different rules (i.e. construction, brush clearing)

General Holiday Pay

To be entitled to general holiday pay an employee must:

  • Have worked for the employer for 30 shifts in the previous 12 months

If an employee’s schedule changes frequently an employee must:

  • Work 5 of the last 9 days that the holiday falls (i.e. if the holiday falls on a Monday an employee must work 5 of the previous 9 Mondays

If a holiday falls on a day the employee regularly works and the employee does not work that day, the employee is to receive a regular day’s pay.

If the holiday falls on a day the employee is scheduled to work the employee is to be paid their regular pay as well as 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for the day or the employer can pay the employee the regular amount for the day and give the employee a day off with pay.

If a general holiday falls during an employee’s vacation the employer must extend the vacation by one day with pay.

Certain industries have different rules (i.e. construction, brush clearing).

Termination of Employment

Employee choosing to no longer work for employer:

  • Day one–3 months = 0 days of notice required
  • 3 months – less than 2 years = 1 calendar week of notice required
  • 2 years or more  = 2 calendar weeks of notice required

Employer deciding employee no longer has a job (as long as it is not the employee’s fault they no longer have a job i.e. fired for something they were not suppose to do):

  • 1 –3 months = 0 days of notice
  • 3 months – less than 2 years = 1 calendar week of notice or pay in lieu of notice
  • 2 years – less than 4 years = 2 calendar weeks of notice or pay in lieu of notice
  • 4 years – less than 6 years = 4 calendar weeks of notice or pay in lieu of notice
  • 6 years – less than 8 years = 5 calendar weeks of notice or pay in lieu of notice
  • 8 years – less than 10 years = 6 calendar weeks of notice or pay in lieu of notice
  • 10 years or more = 8 calendar weeks of notice or pay in lieu of notice

Certain industries have different rules (i.e. construction).

Final Pay Cheque

If notice or pay in lieu of notice is required and given the last pay cheque is to be issued within 3 calendar days of last day of work.

If no notice or pay in lieu of notice is required (i.e. in first 3 months of employee fired for something they were not suppose to do) the last pay cheque is to be issued within 10 calendar day of last day of work.

If employee quits without give appropriate notice employer is allowed to hold last pay cheque for entire amount of notice that should have been given (i.e. 1 week or 2 weeks) plus an addition 10 calendar days.

Maternity and Parental Leave

Job protection under Employment Standards

When returning from leave the employer must:

  • Hire employee back at same position as before leaving or similar position
  • Hire the employee back at the same rate of pay from when the employee left or higher
  • This time off does not need to be paid by the employer

Employee must have worked for the company for 52 consecutive weeks prior to taking maternity and/or parental leave

Maternity Leave

For birth mothers:

  • 15 weeks off
  • Can begin up to 12 weeks before due date

Parental Leave

For either parent of the child or adoptive parents adopting a child under the age of 18 years old:

  • 37 weeks off
  • Birth mother can combine maternity and parental leave for a total of 52 weeks off
  • Must give 6 weeks written notice before leaving, if there is a medical reason why this can not be given a medical note needs to provided
  • Must give 4 weeks written notice before returning

Compassionate Care Leave

Job protection under Employment Standards

When returning from leave the employer must:

  • Hire employee back at same position as before leaving or similar position
  • Hire the employee back at the same rate of pay from when the employee left or higher

Restrictions on who this leave can be taken for:

  • Can take 8 weeks off to be with a family member with a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks

This time off will be without pay

A medical note needs to be provided to the employer prior to taking compassionate care leave

Employee must have worked for the company for 52 consecutive weeks prior to taking compassionate care leave

Must give 2 weeks written notice before leaving, if there is a medical reason why this can not be given a medical note needs to provided

Must give 2 weeks written notice before returning

Complaint Process

An employee cannot be fired or disciplined for filing an Employment Standards complaint

Must file a complaint within 6 months from an employee’s last day of work

Can file a complaint while still employed by company

Go back to last day of work and look at previous 6 months to determine any regular pay or overtime pay an employee is entitled to receive

Go back to last day of work and look at previous 2 years to determine any vacation pay or general holiday pay an employee is entitled to receive

Go back to day complaint was filed and look at previous 6 months to determine any regular pay or overtime pay an employee is entitled to receive

Go back to day complaint was filed and look at previous 2 years to determine any vacation pay or general holiday pay an employee is entitled to receive

Employment of Adolescents

Adolescents are 12, 13 and 14 years old

Restrictions as to the kind of employment they may do:

  • Can only work 2 hours on school days and 8 hours on non-school days
  • Cannot work between 9:00pm and 6:00am
  • Parent or guardian must give written consent to the employer

Employment of Young Persons

Young Persons are 15, 16 and 17 years old

Restrictions as to the kinds of employment they can do:

  • Can work between 9:00pm and midnight as long as there is at least 1 other adult
  • Cannot work between 12:00 am and 6:00am for certain employment (i.e. working in a hotel or a retail store selling food or beverage or gasoline)
  • Can work between midnight and 6:00am for other businesses as long as there is at least 1 other adult in constant presence of the young person and the parent or guardian must give written consent to the employer

If you need help filing an Employment Standards complaint, please click on the link.

For more information on Employment Standards please visit: http://work.alberta.ca/employment-standards.html

Disclaimer information: http://www.thecdlc.ca/education/help-for-workers/disclaimer/