Employment standards variance – Minister order to vary or exempt

Employer groups or associations may apply to the Minister to vary or exempt one or more Employment Standards provisions.

The legislation on this page is now in effect

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

Basic rules

  • A group of employers or employer associations may apply for a variance or exemption to any minimum standard.
  • The term of the order must not exceed 2 years.
  • The Minister issues an order to vary or exempt if deemed necessary.
  • The Minister may amend or revoke an order at any time.

How to apply for a Minister’s order

An application may be made to the Minister for an order to vary or exempt any provision under the Employment Standards Code or Regulation. Certain criteria must be met and outlined in the application before approval.

Application to the Minister

A group of employers or employer associations can request a variance or exemption to the minimum standards.

An application for a Minister’s order to vary or exempt must:

  • be submitted to the Minister
  • include the name of the employer group or association, address and telephone number
  • identify the employers and employees to whom the requested order would apply, or the employment to which the order would apply, as the case may be
  • specify the provisions of the Code or Regulation for which the variance or exemption is requested, the extent and duration of the requested variance or exemption and the rationale for the request
  • identify whether there is support for the proposed variation or exemption by the affected employees or their bargaining agent

Before making an order to vary or exempt the application of one or more of the provisions of the Code or Regulation, the Minister shall consider:

  • the employment standards and occupational health and safety compliance history of the employer members of the applicant group or association
  • the rationale for the request
  • whether there is employee support for the request

After an application is reviewed

A Minister’s order to vary or exempt will include terms and conditions and will include any information required by the Regulation. The Minister will determine on a case by case basis how affected employers and employees are to be notified of the Minister’s order.

The term of the order must not exceed 2 years, and the Minister may amend or revoke the order at any time.

Publication of variances

Information about the variances or exemptions issued by Employment Standards after January 1, 2018 is made public.

Additional information will be available in late 2018 on how to search for issued variances.

How the law applies

Part 3.1 of the Regulation outlines the variance and exemption application process and section 63.3 outlines publication of variances, exemptions and orders.

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

Contact

Contact Employment Standards or sign up for updates