Alberta Workplace Legislation Changes: Fair and Friendly Families Act - January 1, 2018

            The following article reflects Rise's interpretation of the Alberta Workplace Legislation Changes that have taken place on January 1, 2018. Please follow the links below to review the actual legislation and updates published by the Alberta provincial government.

            Updates to Provincial Legislation

            Following a review of existing laws using input from business, industry, organized labour, non-profits and the general public, proposed changes to the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code were introduced in Bill 17: The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act. The Act was passed on June 5, 2017 and received Royal Assent on June 7. Most changes took effect on January 1, 2018, with the exception of the new rules for youth employment, which are scheduled to come into effect on June 1, 2018.

            The changes will make sure Albertans have the same rights and protections enjoyed by other Canadians, and have fair and family-friendly workplace laws that support a strong economy and help businesses stay competitive. This includes:

            • ensuring parents of critically-ill or injured children can take time off to care for their family without fear of losing their job
            • allowing Albertans the time they need to care for themselves if they're dealing with a short-term illness or domestic violence, or mourning the loss of a loved one
            • lowering the threshold for maternity leave and providing for the extension of parental leave to allow greater flexibility for working families

            How This Impacts Payroll & HR

            Alberta’s Employment Standards Code provides minimum standards of employment that apply to the majority of employers and employees in the province, with the exception of those working in federally regulated industries. The Code applies to approximately 85% of all employment relationships in Alberta.

            Therefore It is important for employers in Alberta to familiarize themselves with the changes to the Code that have been passed to support family-friendly workplaces, modernize decades-old legislation, and align the minimum employment standards with the rest of Canada. A summary of the changes are available on the website here and covers the following topics:

            Changes to existing laws

            • Leave eligibility
            • Compassionate care leave
            • Maternity/parental leave
            • Rest periods
            • Compressed work weeks
            • Deductions
            • Minimum wage
            • Overtime
            • General holiday and general holiday pay
            • Vacations and vacation pay
            • Termination and temporary layoffs
            • Youth employment

            Additions to existing laws

            • Leaves
            • Enforcement and administration

            How farms and ranches will be affected

            • For family members
            • For waged, non-family employees

            Sign up for Employment Standards updates

            If you want to get email alerts when new information or resources become available, sign up by emailing

            For more information, please reference this FAQ about changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code and Regulation

            Updated: 15 Oct 2018 08:44 AM
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