Alberta Employment Standards Part 2: Hours of Work:
This article is Part 2 of our blog series covering what an employer must know to run a business, and what every employee should know when working at a business! Keep in mind that each province has different rules.
Hours of Work in the Workplace
- The workday cannot be longer than 12 hours;
- Employees must receive at least 30 minutes of rest in each shift that exceeds 5 hours;
- Employees must receive at least one rest day in each work week. OR
- Two consecutive days of rest in each period of two consecutive weeks; OR
- Three consecutive days of rest in each period of three consecutive weeks; OR
- Four consecutive days of rest in each period of four consecutive weeks. (After 24 consecutive days of work, employees must be provided with at least four consecutive days of rest.)
- Employees who are exempt from hours of work, rest periods and days of rest:
- Employees on a farm or a ranch
- Various types of salespersons
- Professionals such as real estate brokers, and licensed insurance and securities salespersons
- Professions such as architects, engineers, lawyers, psychologists and information systems professionals
- Managers, supervisors and those employed in a confidential capacity
- Licensed land agents
- Instructors or counsellors at a non-profit educational or recreational camp
- Extras in a film or video production
If an employee works for fewer than three consecutive hours, but is available for the full three hours, the employer must pay wages that are the higher of three hours at the minimum wage that applies to the worker, or his regular hourly rate for the actual number of hours worked. The three-hour minimum is reduced to two hours for part-time employees in recreation or athletic programs run by municipalities, Metis Settlements or non-profit community service organizations, and for school bus drivers.
If it is difficult to conform with the above rules there is a process that allows for a Permit for extended hours of work.
In most industries, overtime is all hours worked in excess of eight hours a day or 44 hours a week, whichever is greater. Overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the regular rate of pay. Overtime is all hours worked in excess of eight hours a day, or 44 hours a week, whichever is greater.
Under the Code, the following nine days are recognized as general holidays:
- New Year’s Day January 1
- Alberta Family Day 3rd Monday in February
- Good Friday Varies with religious calendar
- Victoria Day Monday immediately preceding May 25
- Canada Day July 1*
- Labour Day 1st Monday in September
- Thanksgiving Day 2nd Monday in October
- Remembrance Day November 11
- Christmas Day December 25
*By federal law, when July 1st falls on any day of the week other than Sunday, it is celebrated on that day; however, when it falls on a Sunday, it is treated as if it fell on the Monday immediately following. Boxing Day, Easter Monday and Heritage Day (1st Monday in August) are not considered general holidays. However, an employer can designate these, or any other day as a general holiday.
To be eligible for general holiday pay, the employee must:
- Have worked and/or reported to work 30 work days or more for the employer before the general holiday.
- Not have been absent without employer’s consent on the last scheduled day before the holiday or the first scheduled day after the holiday.
- Not have refused to work on the general holiday when requested/scheduled to.
- Vacation Pay:
- Employees must work for one year before they are entitled to vacation time.
- Vacation pay and vacation time accrues during each 12 month period.
- Vacations must be granted in one unbroken period, unless the employee requests a shorter period in writing.
- An employer must give employees their annual vacation within 12 months of the date it is earned.
- An employer can give two weeks’ notice in writing as to when the employee shall take his/her vacation.