Domestic employees - Employment standards exceptions

There are special provisions to the rules outlined in the Employment Standards Code for domestic employees.

The legislation on this page comes into effect on January 1, 2018

For information on Employment Standards legislation that is in force until December 31, 2017, go to http://work.alberta.ca/employment-standards.html

Basic rules

  • Domestic employees are exempt from overtime compensation or restrictions on maximum daily and weekly hours of work.
  • Domestic employees who live in their employer’s home are entitled to at least the minimum wage of $2,316 per month, regardless of the number of hours worked.
  • Domestic employees who do not live in their employer’s home are entitled to at least the minimum wage of $13.60 per hour for all hours worked.

Who’s considered a domestic employee?

A domestic employee is a person employed to do work in the employer’s residence, for the care, comfort and convenience of members of that residence.

Casual babysitting is not considered domestic employment and falls outside the provisions of the employment standards.

Hours of work and pay

The standard overtime rule of hours worked in excess of 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week, whichever is greater, doesn’t apply to domestic employees.

Exceptions to the minimum standards for regular and overtime hours

Domestic employees are:

  • exempt from overtime compensation or restrictions on maximum daily and weekly hours of work
  • paid at the regular rate of pay for all hours worked
  • are not exempt from rest periods and days of rest
    • entitled to at least a 30 minute break for each 5-hour period worked
    • entitled to at least one day of rest each week

Minimum wage rates

For employees who live in their employer’s home:

  • The minimum wage is $2,316 per month, regardless of the number of hours worked;
  • Pro-rating of the monthly minimum wage is permitted where the employee agrees to work for a portion of a month, such as mornings only.

For domestic employees who do not live in their employer’s home:

  • The minimum wage of $13.60 per hour applies for all hours worked

See Minimum wage for more information.

Meal and lodging deductions

For employees who live in their employer’s home:

  • There are limits to the deductions from the minimum wage for room and board that employers may take per month.
    • the maximum allowable deduction per meal is $3.35
    • the maximum allowable deduction for lodging is $4.41 per night
    • deductions may not be made for meals not consumed

What additional Employment Standards apply?

In addition to the special provisions outlined above, all other minimum standards for employment apply to domestic employees.  Additional information on these rules can be found at:

How the law applies

Section 6 of the Regulation exempts domestic employees in private dwellings from Part 2, Divisions 3 (hours of work) and 4 (overtime and overtime pay) of the Employment Standards Code, except for sections 18 (rest periods) and 19 (days of rest) which continue to apply.

Alternate minimum wage provisions are established under section 9 of the Employment Standards Regulation for situations where the domestic employee primarily resides in the employer’s residence.

Disclaimer: In the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Employment Standards legislation, the legislation is considered correct.

Contact Employment Standards

780‑427‑3731 (Edmonton and surrounding areas)

For toll-free calling, dial 1‑877‑427‑3731

From a cell phone, call #310 on Telus and Bell or *310 on Rogers.

Ask a question online

TTY/TDD for the deaf or hard of hearing

780‑427‑9999 (Edmonton and surrounding areas)

For toll-free calling, dial 1‑800‑232‑7215