Alberta is open for business

Premier Jason Kenney and Labour and Immigration Minister Jason Copping are joined by Richard Truscott, CFIB, Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada and Mo Blayways, Owner of 1st RND to announce Bill 2: The Open for Business Act.

Proposed changes to labour rules will help get the province’s economy back on track. Alberta would return to previous general holiday pay and banked overtime rules, and restore democracy and balance to workplaces, if the legislation is passed. In addition to the changes proposed in Bill 2, government will introduce a $13/hour minimum wage for students under 18.

“Our government ran on a promise to get Albertans, especially young people, back to work. The previous government’s changes to employment rules went too far, too fast. With Bill 2 and the youth minimum wage, we are restoring fairness and balance to the workplace and getting ‘Help Wanted’ signs back in the windows of Alberta businesses.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

The proposed Open for Business Act would reduce unfair burdens on businesses and give workers more rights in unionized workplaces. Recent changes to employment rules, such as requiring employers to provide holiday pay even if they are not open that day, created an unfair cost burden on job creators.

Proposed changes to union rules would improve balance and enhance freedoms by returning to secret ballots.

Government is also taking action to address the youth unemployment crisis. Nearly 11 per cent of Albertans aged 15-24 are unemployed, compared to the provincial rate of 6.9 per cent. Employers have cited the current $15/hour minimum wage as one of the reasons they have reduced opportunities for young workers.

The new youth job creation wage of $13 per hour will apply to students aged 13-17. It will take effect June 26, 2019.

“We need to encourage employers to create opportunities for all workers. These changes would help Alberta’s businesses to do just that. We’re bringing back balance, cutting red tape and making it more affordable to hire teens for their first jobs. We are also keeping some of the recent changes that make sense, such as those that provided for compassionate leave and enhanced workers’ rights.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Labour

“Alberta’s minimum wage increases and new holiday pay requirements added operational costs that were too much, too fast, and came at exactly the wrong time for our industry. These new rules for holiday pay and banked overtime, as well as the new minimum wage for young workers, will provide much-needed relief for restaurateurs so that they can continue contributing to vibrant communities and providing first-time job opportunities for youth.”

Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president, Western Canada, Restaurants Canada

If passed, changes to holiday pay rules, overtime, and Flexible Averaging Agreements would take effect on Sept. 1, 2019 to give employers time to adjust. If passed, changes affecting unions would take effect when Bill 2 receives royal assent or when regulations are completed.