Bill 17: Alberta Employment Standards Updates for January 2018

Bill 17 as known as The fair and family-friendly workplace act will come into effect January 1, 2018. Here is what you should know as an Alberta Employer:

Leave Eligibility
– Now employees are eligible for any leave after 90 days of employment. Prior law was 1 year.

New Leave types
– Death or disappearance of child leave
– Critical illness of child leave
– Long-term illness and injury leave
– Domestic violence leave
– Personal and family responsibility leave
– Bereavement leave updates
– Leave for citizenship ceremony
– For details around time off and whether paid or unpaid periods please review the Alberta Employment Standards Website.

– Employees must receive a 30 min break after 5 hours of work. This break can be paid or unpaid.
– If both the employer and employee agree, this can be taken in two 15 min break periods

Employees with Disabilities
– Permits are no longer valid that allow employees with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wages

– Banked overtime is now banked at the overtime rate of time and a half (1.5) instead of straight time
– Banked time can now be kept for 6 months instead of 3.

Holiday Pay
– No minimum requirement of 30 days worked prior to the holiday.
– Holiday pay is calculated at 5% of wages from the last 4 weeks.

Vacation taken
– Vacation can be taken in half days increments rather than a full day only

Alberta employers, HR professionals, union leaders and employee managers should become familiar with these changes that will have an impact immediately. These changes must be incorporated into your policies and union agreements if they do not already account for the minimum standards. Particularly, understanding the new leave types and the extended periods employees can be away for. In addition, its always a good idea to reach out to your HRIS and payroll service provider to see what plans they have to help you account for these legislative employee standard changes and how to use them.

For details of all changes please visit the employee standards website of Alberta here.