Several new changes to Alberta labour legislation will benefit hospitality employers and reduce red tape surrounding employment standards.

Bill 32, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, was passed on July 28, 2020, and will include the following changes:

Effective August 15, 2020

Termination & Layoffs:

  • When employers terminate 50+ employees at a single location within a four-week period, notice to the Minister of Labour is still required; however, such notice is not required to be given to seasonal employees, or to those employed for a definite term or task.
  • For reasons other than COVID-19, employers are able to lay employees off for a longer period of time — 90 days within a 120-day period. If a layoff was due to COVID-19, separate rules allow employees to be laid off for 180 consecutive days.

Effective November 1, 2020:

Pay & Payroll:

  • Employers are required to pay employees their final pay within one of the following periods:
    • 10 consecutive days after the end of the pay period in which they were terminated, or
    • 31 consecutive days after the last day of employment.
  • Holiday pay rules have been adjusted to better reflect pay cycles. Average Daily Wage will not include vacation pay and general holiday pay.

Hours of Work:

  • Employers may start or change an hours of work averaging arrangement by giving employees two weeks’ notice.
  • Employers are not required to pay daily overtime, unless daily overtime is included as part of an averaging arrangement. (Note: Weekly overtime threshold will still apply, regardless if daily overtime is included in the arrangement or not.)

Youth Employment:

  • Employers can more easily hire 13- and 14-year-olds for certain types of jobs because they are no longer required to apply for a permit before hiring. Types of jobs include light janitorial work in offices and some jobs in the food services industry, if the youth is working with someone 18 or older.

Read more: Government of Alberta