Payment of earnings
Employers must follow rules for paying employees and providing pay statements.
The legislation on this page comes 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/payment-of-earnings-2017.html
Employers must pay their employees at least once a month, or use one of the following pay periods listed below:
Employers must also:
- provide employees with a statement of earnings for each pay period
- keep employment records for 3 years
- pay employees within 10 consecutive days after the end of the pay period, unless employment is terminated
How earnings are paid
- Employers must pay an employee at least the minimum wage.
- Employers are encouraged to pay employees at the work place.
- Employees must be paid in Canadian currency.
- Employees may be paid by cash, cheque or similar document, drawn on an insured financial institution, such as a chartered bank or credit union.
- Employees may be paid by direct deposit into an account of their choice, in any recognized financial institution.
- Employers must pay employees within 10 consecutive days from the end of the pay period, unless employment is terminated. An employee isn’t considered paid until they’ve received the funds.
Termination of employment
When employment is terminated, employees must be paid their earnings as follows:
Within 3 days after the last day of employment, if:
- an employee provides the required amount of written notice of termination and the employee works to the end of their notice period,
- an employer provides the required amount of written notice of termination, and the employee works to the end of their notice period,
- an employer provides a combination of the required amount of written notice and pay in lieu of notice, and the employee works to the end of the notice period
- an employer chooses to pay termination pay in lieu of the required amount of written notice
Within 10 days after the last day of employment, if:
- an employer or employee is not required by the Code to give notice of termination
Within 17 or 24 days after the last day of employment, if:
- an employee fails to give the required amount of written notice of termination; the employer must pay the employee’s earnings not later than 10 consecutive calendar days after the date on which the notice would have expired if it had been given
See Termination and termination pay for more information.
Timelines that are calculated in days are always based on calendar days, not business days.
An employer must provide an employee with a statement of earnings at the end of each pay period that shows all of the following:
- statement period
- regular and overtime hours of work
- wage rate and overtime rate
- earnings paid, listing items separately (e.g. wages, overtime, general holiday pay and vacation pay),
- deductions from earnings and the reason for each deduction
- hours taken off in lieu of overtime
Employers may provide electronic statements if employees can view and print them.
Privacy legislation may require an employer to maintain the confidentiality of the employee’s payroll information.
Reducing an employee’s earning
An employer must notify the employee before the start of the pay period in which the reduction takes effect, if they intend to reduce an employee's:
- wage rate
- overtime rate
- general holiday pay
- vacation pay
- termination pay
These rates must always be at least the minimum required by the legislated standards.
How the law applies
Part 2, Divisions 1 and 2 of the Employment Standards Code set out the rules for the payment of earnings to employees, as well as employment records that employers must provide to their employees. Earnings include wages, overtime pay, vacation pay, general holiday pay and termination pay.
Disclaimer: In the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Employment Standards legislation, the legislation is considered correct.
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