Sept 1, 2019: Holiday Pay & Overtime Changes Take Effect in Alberta

We previously blogged about anticipated changes to the Alberta Employment Standards Code regarding general holiday pay and banked overtime agreements.

Bill 2: An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business received royal assent on July 18, 2019, and the changes to the holiday pay and banked overtime agreements will be in effect on September 1, 2019.

If they have not done so already, employers should review their policies to ensure that they are in compliance with the new legislation prior to September 1, 2019.

By Order in Council 126/2019, the Lieutenant Governor in Council repealed all provisions of the Employment Standards Regulation relating to flexible averaging agreements. This means that, effective September 1, 2019, flexible averaging agreements are no longer a permissible method to regulate hours worked in excess of eight hours per day. Flexible averaging agreements that are already in effect remain valid until the earlier of:

  1. The date the flexible averaging agreement is cancelled;
  2. In the case of a flexible averaging agreement made as part of a collective agreement, the date a subsequent collective agreement is entered into; and
  3. August 31, 2021.

Hours of work averaging agreements remain valid and enforceable under the Employment Standards Code and Employment Standards Regulation, and no amendments have been made to those provisions.

The Alberta government has also added a further exemption to the regular and overtime hours of work, days of rest, and overtime and overtime pay provisions for lookout observers. A lookout observer is an employee stationed at a wildfire site whose primary responsibilities are to a) provide early detection of smoke and fires, b) report smoke, fire and lightning observations and c) monitor and record observed smoke and fires.

If you have questions about these changes or require assistance amending your policies, our Alberta labour and employment team would be happy to help.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.