Alberta had some of the oldest workplace legislation in Canada. Under changes to the Employment Standards Code, Albertans now have the same rights and protections as other Canadians.

Learn the new code

Employment standards sets minimum rules for conditions for employment in our province. These include hours of work, overtime, holidays, minimum wage and rules for employing youth.

Short-term leaves

Fair, family-friendly workplace laws support a strong economy and help businesses stay competitive. Under Alberta's new laws, workers can take time off if they're sick, mourning the loss of a loved one or dealing with family violence without fear of losing their job.

Long-term leaves

Job-protected, unpaid leaves of absence allow employees to take time off of work for personal reasons without worrying about having a job when they return. New rules mean employees are eligible for most leaves after 90 days of service, rather than one year.

Hours, breaks, wages and overtime

New rules for pay and breaks reflect the growth in part-time jobs, shift work and flexible schedules since the Employment Standards Code was last updated in 1988.

Stat holidays and vacation pay

New standards for vacation and holiday pay make it easier to understand and follow the rules.

Layoffs and termination pay

Rules regarding temporary layoffs and termination have been clarified.

  • Employers who want to keep an employment relationship may temporarily lay off an employee.
  • Proper notice must be given when an employee quits or an employer terminates an employee.
  • Special notice is needed when terminating 50 or more employees within 4 weeks.

Administration and enforcement

Learn about exceptions to minimum standards for specific industries, how to apply for a permit or variance and how the Employment Standards Code is enforced.

  • Special provisions to the employment standards are in place for employees of specific industries.
  • Employer groups or assocations may apply for a youth employment permit and to vary or exempt any minimum standard.
  • Audits and inspections may be conducted to check if rules are being followed. Employers who fail to comply may face penalties.
  • Employees can file a complaint or anonymous tip if employers don't meet minumum standards. Requests can be made to appeal a decision.
  • List of employers in contravention of employment standards with unpaid penalties and judgments and certificates against corporate directors.
  • Farmers and ranchers were consulted to develop employment standards that reflect the unique aspects of the industry.