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As part of the province’s recovery plan, Alberta’s government passed the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act in July 2020. The act included several changes to employment standards rules that reduce red tape and get Albertans back to work. These rules are now in effect.
Updated rules for temporary layoffs keep hard working Albertans attached to their jobs while reducing red tape for employers.
New rules include extending the period for temporary layoffs unrelated to COVID-19 to 90 days total in a 120-day period. COVID-19 related layoffs can continue to be for a period of 180 days.
Job creators still have to provide employees with written notice of temporary layoffs, but specific timing requirements have been removed to reduce red tape.
These changes help employers navigate uncertain times, while protecting the lives and livelihoods of Albertans by allowing them to remain attached to a job longer during these uncertain times.
Other new rules save employers time and encourage them to hire young Albertans, supporting our economic recovery by helping build the workforce of the future. Alberta’s 13 and 14 year olds will find it easier to get a job because their employer no longer needs to get a permit from the department of Labour and Immigration to hire them into some specific jobs, such as coaching and tutoring. Rules remain in place to protect young workers’ safety while they get an opportunity to work their first job and gain valuable experience. Parents must still provide their consent for 13 and 14 year olds to work.
Employers may reduce unnecessary costs with new rules that align an employee’s final pay when terminated with the employer’s pay cycles. The Canadian Payroll Association estimates it costs employers $91 each time they have to write a check outside their regular payroll cycle. Allowing employers to align an employee’s final pay with their payroll cycles reduces red tape and could save them an estimated $100 million a year. These kinds of savings encourage employers to invest in Alberta, leading to economic recovery and more jobs for Albertans. Employee’s final pay is not reduced and they will receive their pay no later than 31 days after their last day of employment, or 10 days after the end of the pay period in which they were terminated.
By moving towards simpler and more flexible employment standards rules, government is saving employers time and money on processes and paperwork, giving them more time to focus on getting Albertans back to work and supporting the province’s economic recovery.
Jason Copping served as Minister of Labour and Immigration from April 20, 2019 to September 21, 2021.