What is the Employment Standards Code?
The Employment Standards Code sets the minimum employment standards in Alberta, and the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. While there are exceptions, such as federally-regulated industries, the legislation applies to approximately 85% of the province’s workers and business owners.
An Overview of the Employment Standards Code for Employers
Employers regulated by the Employment Standards Code should know what is legal and illegal in relation to operating their businesses. In the Code, they can reference the minimum employment standards for:
- General holidays and pay
- Statutory holidays and pay
- Hours of work and rest periods
- Overtime hours and overtime pay
- Job-protected leaves (e.g., personal and family responsibility leave / sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave, etc.)
- Minimum wage
- Earning deductions
- Payment of earnings
- Temporary layoffs
- Employee terminations and pay
- Vacation entitlement and vacation pay
- Youth employment laws
At the very minimum, you must understand the basic employment standards to provide employees their rights and to fulfill your duties as an employer.
Employment Standards Enforcement
Alberta’s employment standards are enforced through audits, inspections, penalties, prosecutions, and judgment collection. Failure to comply will result in administrative penalties and may lead to prosecution.
Bill 17, The Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act
On January 1, 2018, Bill 17, The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, came into effect and changed certain minimum standards of employment in Alberta. It is essential that employers understand how the amendments to the Employment Standards Code impact the workplace. More importantly, employers must take the appropriate actions to meet these new minimum standards by reviewing and revising workplace policies, procedures, and operating practices to ensure your business is compliant.
Unlimited Advice on Alberta’s Employment Standards Code
Call our complimentary employer helpline for information on Alberta’s Employment Standards Code. We are dedicated to supporting small business owners with employer advice, employment rights, and any human resources concerns. Speak with our HR experts anytime: 1 (888) 219-8767.