On May 27, 2019, the recently-elected United Conservative Party (UCP) Government introduced Bill 2 (An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business) to the Provincial Legislature, proposing amendments to labour and employment legislation in Alberta.
Presuming Bill 2 is passed in its current form, the following changes will be made to Alberta's Employment Standards and Labour Relations Codes.
Employment Standards Code changes: General holiday pay and banked overtime (proposed to take effect September 1, 2019)
- Providing employees and employers the option to structure straight-time (hour for hour) banked hours arrangements instead of mandating that each hour of overtime worked requires 1.5 hours off with pay. Also, repealing the provisions regarding Flexible Averaging Agreements, because the proposed alterations to overtime banking will not necessitate these agreements.
- Including a qualifying period for holiday pay mandating that the employee is eligible for holiday pay if the employee has worked for the same employer for 30 work days (or more) in the last 12 months before the general holiday.
- Returning the distinctions between regular and irregular workdays in determining entitlement to general holiday pay.
Labour Relations Code changes : Labour relations
- Returning to the mandatory secret ballot process for all union certification votes through removal of the provisions regarding certification without a representation vote if there is 65 percent card-based employee support (effective as of first reading on May 27, 2019).
- Reducing the timeline for unions to provide evidence of employee support for union certification from six months to 90 days.
- Establishing programs to support and assist employees in understanding and exercising their rights under various labour-related acts in relation to unions and employers.
- Bolstering the marshalling provisions to coordinate employment-related complaints when the complaints involve multiple forums, such as the Alberta Human Rights Commission and the Alberta Labour Relations Board.
Employment Standards Regulations amendment (via Order in Council): Youth minimum wage rates (effective June 26, 2019)
- Reduced from $15/hour to $13/hour.
- The youth minimum wage rate will apply to students under the age of 18 who attend school up to Grade 12, post-secondary or vocational school. It will also apply to those who work less than 28 hours per week when school is in session (hours in excess of 28 hours must be paid at regular minimum wage levels). When school is not in session, the minimum wage for students will be $13/hour, regardless of the number of hours worked.
Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries. www.dentons.com
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. Specific Questions relating to this article should be addressed directly to the author.