Alberta

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The standard hours of work of an employee shall not exceed 8 hours in a day and 44 hours in a week.

 

Amendment to Flexible Averaging Agreements

Employment Standards (Flexible Averaging Agreements) Amendment Regulation, AR 71/2019 was introduced on July 18, 2019. This regulation amends the Employment Standards Regulation and effective September 1, 2019, employers and employees will no longer be able to enter into new FAAs. 

 

Effective September 1, 2019, employers and employees will no longer be able to enter into new FAAs. Rather, they will have to enter into Hours of Work Averaging Agreements (“HWAAs”). An FAA authorized employees and employers to agree to a short-term straight overtime banking arrangement. Hence, FAAs will no longer be needed because employees will be able to bank time and take it off with pay on a 1 for 1 basis instead of being paid overtime. 

Overtime

Overtime hours in respect of a work week are the total of an employee’s hours of work in excess of 8 on each workday in the work week, or an employee’s hours of work in excess of 44 hours in the work week, whichever is greater.

 

Overtime Pay

An employer must pay an employee overtime pay for overtime hours at an overtime rate that is at least 1.5 times the employee’s wage rate or 1.5 times time off for each hour of overtime worked. Time off with pay must be provided, taken and paid to employees within six months of the end of the pay period. This does not apply to an employer or employee who has entered into an overtime agreement.  Employment Standards Code, § 21-24; Bill 17 and Employment Standard Regulation, Sec 13.4, 13.45.

Breaks

An employer must provide each employee who works 5 hours or more with at least 30 minutes of rest, whether paid or unpaid, within every 5 consecutive hours of work. If an employer and an employee agree, each rest period may be taken in 2 periods of at least 15 minutes.

 

Every employer must allow each employee at least:

      • 1 day of rest in each work week,
      • 2 consecutive days of rest in each period of 2 consecutive work weeks,
      • 3 consecutive days of rest in each period of 3 consecutive work weeks, or
      • 4 consecutive days of rest in each period of 4 consecutive work weeks.

Every employer must allow each employee at least 4 consecutive days of rest after each 24 consecutive work days.

 Employment Standards Code, § 18-19; Bill 17 and Employment Standard Regulation.

Public Holidays

The following days are general holidays in Alberta:

      • New Year’s Day,
      • Alberta Family Day,
      • Good Friday,
      • Victoria Day,
      • Canada Day,
      • Labour Day,
      • Thanksgiving Day,
      • Remembrance Day,
      • Christmas Day,
      • any other day designated, by regulation, as a general holiday by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, and
      • any other day designated as a general holiday under an agreement between an employer and employees, or otherwise designated as a general holiday by an employer.

General holiday pay

If an employee works on a general holiday, the employer must comply with either:

    • pay average daily wage plus 1.5 times employee’s wage rate for all hours worked, or
    • pay regular wages (and overtime, if applicable) plus provide a future day off with payment of average daily wage.

The hours worked on the holiday do not count when calculating overtime hours worked for the week in which the holiday falls.

 

General Holiday During Annual Vacation

If a general holiday occurs during an employee’s annual vacation, the employer must give the employee a holiday with general holiday pay, of a sum that is at least equal to the average daily wage of the employee.

 

Holiday Pay Eligibility

General holiday pay will be calculated as 5% of wages and vacation pay earned in the 4 weeks immediately preceding the holiday.  Employment Standards Code, § 25-33; Bill 17 and Employment Standard Regulation

Annual Leave

An employer must provide an annual vacation to an employee of at least:

      • 2 weeks after each of the first 4 years of employment, and;
      • 3 weeks after 5 consecutive years of employment and each year of employment after that
      • Half-day vacation increments may be allowed.

Vacation Pay

For each week of vacation, the employer must pay an employee paid by the month vacation pay of an amount at least equal to the employee’s wages for the employee’s normal hours of work in a work month divided by 4 1/3. Employees must be paid 4% or 2 weeks of their total wages as vacation pay until they have been employed for 5 years, after which they must receive at least 6%.

 

When it is necessary to determine whether an employee has been employed by an employer for 5 years of employment, or to determine whether the 6th common anniversary date has occurred, any break in the employee’s employment with the employer of less than 90 days is to be counted as a period of continuous employment.  Employment Standards Code, § 34-44; Bill 17 and Employment Standard Regulation.

Minimum Wage

As on October 1, 2018, the minimum wage for Alberta, Canada is $15.00. Alberta Ministry of Labour, Minimum Wage.

Special Leave

Maternity Leave

The maternity leave to which a pregnant employee is entitled is a period of not more than 16 weeks starting at any time during the 12 weeks immediately before the estimated date of delivery. A pregnant employee whose pregnancy ends other than as a result of a live birth within 16 weeks of the estimated due date is entitled to maternity leave. An employee who takes maternity leave must take a period of leave of at least 6 weeks immediately following the date of delivery unless the employee and her employer agree to shorten the period by the employee’s giving her employer a medical certificate indicating that resumption of work will not endanger her health. Employment Standards Code, R.S.A. 2000, ch. E-9, §§ 45-49.

Paternity Leave

There is no legal entitlement to paternity leave, although a father may be eligible for up to 62 weeks of unpaid parental leave. Employees may be eligible for paternity benefits under the federal Employment Insurance program. Employment Standards Code, R.S.A. 2000, ch. E-9, §§ 50-52.

Parental Leave

An employer must grant parental leave to an employee as follows:

      • In the case of an employee entitled to maternity leave, a period of not more than 62 consecutive weeks immediately following the last day of maternity leave;
      • In the case of a parent who has been employed by the same employer for at least 90 days, a period of not more than 62 consecutive weeks within 53 weeks after the child’s birth;
      • In the case of an adoptive parent who has been employed by the same employer for at least 90 days, a period of not more than 62 consecutive weeks within 53 weeks after the child is placed with the adoptive parent for the purpose of adoption.
Special Leave

Employees will be eligible for current (excluding reservists leave) and new leaves after 90 days, rather than 1 year.

Compassionate Care Leave

An employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least 90 days is entitled to unpaid compassionate care leave for a period of up to 27 weeks for the purpose of providing care or support to a seriously ill family member. If more than one employee who is employed by the same employer is entitled to compassionate care leave with respect to the same family member, the employer is not required to grant the leave to more than one employee at a time.

Personal and Family Responsibility Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to 5 days of job protection per year for personal sickness or short-term care of an immediate family member. This includes attending to personal emergencies and caregiving responsibilities related to the education of a child.

Long-Term Illness and Injury Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to 16 weeks of job protection per year for long-term personal sickness or injury. Medical certificate and reasonable notice will be required.

Bereavement Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to 3 days of job protection per year for bereavement of an immediate family member.

Domestic Violence Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to 10 days of job protection per year for employees addressing a situation of domestic violence.

Citizenship Ceremony Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to a half-day of job protection for employees attending a citizenship ceremony.

Critical Illness of an Adult Family Member Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to 16 weeks of job protection for employees who take time off to care for an ill or injured adult family member.

Critical Illness of a Child Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to 36 weeks of job protection for parents of critically ill or injured children.

Death or Disappearance of Child Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to 52 weeks of job protection for employees whose child disappeared as a result of a crime, or up to 104 weeks if a child died as a result of a crime.

Reservist Leave

An employee who has completed at least 26 consecutive weeks of employment with an employer and is a reservist is entitled to reservist leave without pay to take part in the following operations or activities:

        • Deployment to a Canadian Forces operation outside Canada;
        • Deployment to a Canadian Forces operation inside Canada that is or will be providing assistance in dealing with an emergency or with its aftermath;
        • Annual training, including related travel time, for an amount of up to 20 days in a calendar year;
        • Any operation or activity set out.

 Employment Standards Code, § 45 – 53.984; Bill 17 and Employment Standard Regulation

Last updated on: September 6th, 2019