Alberta Employment Standards Legislation Changes 2018

Bill 17: The Fair and Family-Friendly work place Act came into effect as of January 01st, 2018 in Alberta.

As of January 1st a few things have changed

  • Compressed work weeks
  • Overtime Banking Agreements
  • General Holiday Pay
  • Vacations and Vacation pay
  • Termination and Temporary layoff
  • Youth employment
  • Legislated Leaves and Leave Eligibility

The compressed weeks as of January 01st will be known as ‘Averaging Agreement’. This requires the support of the majority of affected employees to be in effect. The term of agreement cannot exceed 2 years unless part of a collective Agreement.

Overtime rules and banking have also had some changes. The rules regarding overtime hours worked have not changed. Any over time worked over 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week whichever is greater (the 8/44 rule) has not changed. With written agreements in place overtime will be calculated at 1.5 for all hours worked. Banked time will be paid at regular rate and an overtime rate of 1.5x regular rate for all overtime banked hours. Agreements will allow time to be banked for 6 months rather than 3 months.

With the 9 statutory Holidays in Alberta, the rule that employees will only be eligible for general holiday pay if they have worked for 30 days or more in 12 months before the general holiday will be removed. Employees will be entitled to holiday pay immediately after starting. All employees will be eligible for holiday pay even when a holiday falls on a day they are not normally scheduled to work.

Every employee will be entitled to time off and vacation pay. Employees will be paid 4% or 2 weeks of their total wages as vacation pay until they have employed for 5 years. After which they must receive at least 6 % of their total wages. Half-day vacation increments will be allowed up from a minimum of one day. For the purpose of calculating vacation pay the following will not be included overtime pay, general holiday pay, termination pay, tips and gratuities, expenses and allowances.

Termination rules have been clarified. Employers will be prohibited from forcing employees to use vacation/OT during the notice period, unless this has been agreed upon by both parties. Termination calculation will be based on the previous 13 weeks of employment when the employee actually worked, not calendar weeks as before.

Youth employment changes as of January 01st will include that anyone under the age of 13 years will not be allowed to work as employees. Youths between 13-15 years will only be allowed to work in jobs on light work which will be determined. Youths under 16 years will be prohibited from jobs that are deemed to include hazardous work.

Legislated leaves and leave eligibility have also changed. Employees will now be eligible for current and new leaves after 90 days of employment. New types of legislated leaves have introduced these include, personal or family responsibility, bereavement, domestic violence, citizenship ceremony, critical illness of a child, death or disappearance of a child and long-term illness/injury. For more in-depth reference to the changes please see link attached.

Eliam Chikange / Payroll Specialist / PEO Canada

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