What you should know about the new labour laws
How to be ready.
The Government of Alberta has updated the Employment Standards Code and many of the new rules will be in full force on New Year's Day 2018. This change to our labour code will have a lot of ramifications for businesses, farms and everyone in the Alberta workforce.
What is Being Changed?
With the current regulations being in place since 1988, there have been numerous changes to the Labour Code in this large-scale overhaul including:
- Leave Eligibility (Lowered to 90 days from 1 year.)
- Compassionate Care Leave (Changes in job protection duration, Employer notice and more.)
- Maternity/Parental Leave (Changes in job protection, duration termination during notice/entitlement period.)
- Rest Periods (New standards for hours of work and rest.)
- Compressed Work Weeks (New standards for averaging agreements.)
- Deduction Clarifications (New standards for earning deductions.)
- Minimum Wage (New wage minimums and rules regarding disabled workers)
- Overtime (Changes in banked hours provisions.)
- General Holiday and General Holiday Pay (Change in days worked to qualify, raise in holiday pay.)
- Vacations and Vacation Pay (Vacation pay clarification and reduction of vacation increments to half a day.)
- Termination and Temporary Layoffs (Notice, layoff and termination terms and pay clarified.)
- Youth Employment (Age and allowability clarifications.)
- Additions to Current Leave Law (New standards for job-protected leave.)
- Enforcement and Administration (Changes to penalty systems, appeals and permitting rules.)
- Farming and Ranching Sector (Changes to minimum wage, unpaid, protected leave rest periods, vacation pay and a host of other updates.)
Job Protection Changes Highlighted
These new regulations will have a significant impact on businesses with regard to job protection provisions for leave due to maternity, parenting, compassionate care (to tend to either elder parents or children), bereavement, long-term or critical illness or injury, personal and family responsibilities, disappearance or death of a child and even a half a day to attend a citizenship ceremony.
Wages and Benefits on the Increase
The terms of the legislation will also have a noticeable effect on payroll costs such as wages, holiday pay and termination pay. The current minimum wage rate of $13.60/hour will rise to $15.00 on October 1, 2018.
What Must Business Do to Adjust Successfully to These Changes?
This article is intended as a general guide to the official legislative changes. Professional advice may be required for individual business circumstances. If you are unsure how these regulations will impact your unique situation, whether as an employer or employee, it is recommended you contact a tax planning professional such as myself, Melanie Gesy at www,melaniegesy.ca