Alberta Employee Standard Legislation Changes Coming

Earlier this year, Bill 17 (the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act) was passed by the Alberta Government, which impacts the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code.

Most changes will take effect January 1, 2018.

We would like to highlight a few of the changes, as follows:

Leave Eligibility: Employees will be eligible for current and new leaves after 90 days, rather than 1 year.

Compassionate Care Leave: Job protection will be extended to 27 weeks (from 8 weeks), expanded to include non-primary caregivers.

Maternity/Parental Leave: Unpaid Job protection for maternity leave expanded to 16 weeks (from 15 weeks) to accommodate the one-week waiting period for Federal EI Benefits. Unpaid job protection for parental leave will remain at 37 weeks, but may be increased in the future to align with proposed federal Employment Insurance benefits.

Rest Periods: Employees are to receive a min. of 30-minutes for break for 5 hours of consecutive work. (paid or unpaid break)

Overtime: Overtime Agreements will allow for time to be banked for 6 months (formerly 3 months). Also, 1 overtime hour worked = 1.5 hours banked (previously 1 for 1).

General Holiday Pay: General Holiday pay will be calculated as 5% of wages, general holiday pay, and vacation pay received in the previous 4 weeks worked.

Termination/Layoffs: Employees can no longer be forced to use vacation, overtime, and other entitlements, during termination unless they both agree.

Youth Employment: Youth, under age 16, will be prohibited from jobs deemed to be "hazardous work"

Leaves: Many new unpaid leaves have been added Long-Term Illness and Injury Leave (16 weeks per year with medical certificate), Personal and Family Responsibility Leave (5 days per year), Bereavement Leave (3 days per year), Domestic Violence Leave (10 Days per year), Citizenship Ceremony Leave (half-day), Critical Illness of a Child (36 Weeks), Death/Disappearance of a Child (52 weeks to 104 weeks).

This is meant to summarize the upcoming changes made by the Alberta Government. If you would like to read each change fully please refer to