Employment Law

A Guide to Employment Standards in Calgary

employment lawyer calgary

In Alberta, there are a few documents that lay out what is the base standards for employment rules such as the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Pay Equity Act. However, lawyers in Calgary will agree that one of the most important documents is the Alberta Employment Standard Rules, which tackles things such as wages, overtime, terminations, holidays, and more.

In the next following topics, we will briefly look over what this important piece of document says about the minimum standards that every employer should provide for their employees.

Holidays, Work and Rest, Leaves, and Vacation

In Alberta, employees are entitled to general holiday pay as long as they have worked for 30 workdays within the last 12 months for the same employer. The general holiday must be a normal workday, or they must have worked during the general holiday if it was not a normal workday. Holiday pay varies if it was a normal workday or not. If the general holiday falls under a regular day of work, then:

  • If the employee worked, they may receive a day off in the future during a regular day of work at an average daily wage; or get paid 1.5 times their hourly wage plus the regular wage.
  • If the employee did not work, then they are eligible for just their daily wage.

If the general holiday does not fall under a regular day of work, then:

  • If the employee worked, they may receive the hours worked times 1.5 the average hourly wage.
  • If the employee did not work, then they are not eligible for general holiday pay.

The amount of work someone can do is also regulated, they can work up to 12 hours maximum unless there is an exception. During their shift, if it is between 5 and 10 hours long, then employees are entitled to a 30-minute break, shifts longer than 10 hours must have two 30-minute breaks. Employees working less than 5 hours are not entitled to have a break by law, but every employee is entitled to at least one day of rest during the week.

There are also many situations in which employees are entitled to protected leave at work, such as paternal leave and injury leave. Employers must also give their employees annual vacations, employees similarly have to take vacation time. To be eligible for vacation time, they must work a one-year period. Employees are entitled to a 2-week period with pay for the first 4 years of employment, and a 3-week period with pay after the mark of 5 years.

It is pivotal that if you are in doubt if your employment rights are being respected or not to have an Employment Lawyer Calgary  review your case.

Wages, Overtime, Termination, and Deductions 

Different provinces have different rules, but in Alberta, the minimum wage is $15 per hour and this applies to all employees except students under the age of 18. Those wages must not include tips or expenses.

Along the same lines of wages, employees are in most instances entitled to overtime pay. Overtime pay is any work done over 8 hours in a day or over 44 hours in a week. The rates vary depending if there was a clause agreed upon in your contract, but it is commonly 1.5 times the employee’s regular wages.

Employees must be paid at least once a month, but can also be paid daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or semi-monthly. Their employers must provide a statement of earnings, and keep their records for at least 3 years.

In case of termination, the employer must give a termination notice, a termination pay, or a combination of both to the employee. The notice period varies depending on how long the employee has been employed.

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