This post outlines some of the significant changes to Alberta employment standards in 2018 and how those changes may impact your business.
If you’re an Alberta employer or small business owner it’s important to understand how recent changes to the Alberta Employment Standards Code affect your business.
Under the updated Code, employees are entitled to a 30-minute break during every 5-hour period of work. Under the previous standards, an employee was not entitled to break during shifts of 5 hours or less. Employers will need to adjust shift schedules and break times accordingly.
Alberta minimum wage rose to $15.00 hourly on October 1, 2018.
Minimum wage is now mandatory for liquor servers whose wage can no longer be reduced to adjust for tips.
Laws around banked overtime have also changed. Employers must bank overtime at a rate of 1.5 hours for every hour worked compared to the previous rules under which hour-for-hour banking was acceptable. Additionally, employees now have 6 months instead of 3 to use banked overtime hours. There are, however, exceptions to the general banked overtime laws based on occupation and contractual agreement. It’s important to consult your employment lawyer with questions about how banked overtime laws will impact your business.
Under the 2018 standards, workers no longer have to work for 30 days in the 12 months prior to a statutory holiday to be entitled to holiday pay. Now, an employee must only work the day prior and the day following a holiday to be paid for the holiday.
Employers can no longer deduct certain costs from workers.
For example, uniform costs are no longer allowed to be deducted from employee wages. If your business operates in an industry that requires uniforms, you may need to consider changing suppliers and adjusting your budget to provide staff with uniforms. The new standards also prohibit wage deductions for dine-and-dash and pump-and-go situations.
Unpaid job protection for maternity leave has now increased from 15 weeks to 16 weeks. There are many other changes and clarifications to unpaid leaves, compressed work weeks, vacation eligibility, timing, disagreement and length, employment termination, layoffs, termination, youth employment and farm and ranch employment. The enforcement and administration of the Alberta Employment Standards Code has also changed.
If you are an employer or an employee with questions or concerns about how recent changes to Alberta employment standards will affect you or your business, contact the employment lawyers at West Legal who can help you understand your rights and obligations under the new legislation.