Alberta Workplace Legislation Review: Call for Public Consultation


The Alberta Government has announced substantial reviews of Alberta’s Workplace Legislation – the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code. This is the first review of these statutes since 1988. Employers should expect significant amendments to both statutes.

Employment Standards Code

Feedback on the ESC is being requested by way of a survey, which can be found at https://work.alberta.ca/department/workplace-legislation-review.html.  The survey addresses the following topics:

  • Increasing Workplaces Leave:
    • Aligning unpaid, job-protected leaves with Employment Insurance
    • New leave for family responsibilities, including care of a critically ill child
    • Introduction of earned, unpaid, job protected sick leave
    • Reducing qualification period for parental and compassionate care leave
  • Greater Payments of Overtime and Holiday Pay:
    • Increasing banked overtime rate from 1:1 to 1:1.5
    • Changes for payment of holiday work hours to include payment for all employees regardless of whether the holiday was a “regular work day” for the employee
    • Reducing qualification time for General Holiday Pay
    • Increasing employer options for taking deductions from wages
  • Enforcement and administration
    • Introduction of progressive penalties, fees to promote compliance, and proactive enforcement
    • Revisions to the appeal system
    • Extending time for employees to file complaints
    • Publically posting names of employers who have demonstrated consistent non-compliance with employment standards

Former Alberta Labour Relations Board (“ALRB”) Chair and arbitrator Andrew Sims, Q.C. has been retained to conduct a third party review of the LRC. Mr. Sims has released a mandate of his review, which can be found at https://work.alberta.ca/labour/labour-relations-code-review.html.

Labour Relations Code

We expect that the following areas will be considered in the LRC review:

  • Whether to implement mandatory trade union dues, regardless of worker status
  • Certification without a vote
  • Prohibiting use of replacement workers
  • Mandatory Dispute resolution in intractable disputes (unresolved first contracts, proven unfair labour practices or public emergencies as a result of failure to maintain essential services)
  • Broadening the ALRB’s mandate to adjudicate a wider range of workplace disputes
  • Enlarging ALRB’s powers, procedures and remedial options to create more timely dispute resolution and flexibility in the use of mediation

Feedback and input is to be forwarded to:

Workplace Legislation Feedback

c/o Workplace Policy and Legislation

Alberta Labour

7th Floor, 10808–99 Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5K 0G5

The deadline for public feedback is Tuesday April 18, 2017.