On July 7, the Government of Alberta passed Bill 32 “Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020“. These changes come into force over the next several months.
Bill 32 proposes a number of significant changes to the Employment Standard Code that will impact unionized and non-unionized environments. Highlights of the noteworthy changes are in areas including:
Under the new legislation, the Employer now has more time to pay an employee’s final pay. Employees must receive final pay no later than the following:
This will benefit employers by allowing them to pay an employee’s final pay in accordance with their normal pay schedule. These changes will reduce the cost of having to process specialty payments.
The new “average daily wage” would average the employee’s total wages over the number of days they worked in either the:
Before COVID-19, a temporary layoff is deemed to be a termination of employment was 60 days within 120 days. Now, this has been extended to 90 days within a 120-day period. The maximum layoff period for temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 is to remain at 180 days.
Previously, employers were required to provide notice to employees for a temporary layoff. This requirement has been removed.
An averaging agreement is an agreement between an employer and employee that allows an employer and employee to average the number of hours worked over one, two, three or four weeks, and eliminates the need to pay overtime for the hours covered by the agreement.
Now, the Employment Standards Code refers to it as Averaging Arrangements instead of Averaging Agreements which means:
Under Bill 32, employees can continue to accumulate vacation time while they are on a job-protected leave of absence.
The change to the legislation enables employers and employees to have greater flexibility to agree on the employee’s rest period schedule, provided that the schedule still complies with the legislation’s minimum requirements.
Changes in the Employment Standards Code will take effect November 1, except for the following changes which will take effect August 15:
Employers must look back at their own policies to understand how these changes will affect their obligations as an employer/company. Please note that the content of this article is only intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Legal/Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
For more information please visit https://www.alberta.ca/restoring-balance-in-albertas-workplaces.aspx