Changes Coming: Bill 2 and Alberta’s Employment Legislation

By Victoria Merritt, Associate

On May 27, 2019 the UCP Government announced changes to Alberta’s employment and labour laws in Bill 2 “An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business”.

Many of the proposed changes would reverse amendments made by the previous government.

RMRF will be issuing a more detailed review of the Bill and its impact once it passes, but some of the highlights of the Bill in its current form are summarized below.

Bill 2 proposes amendments to the Employment Standards Code, including the following:

  • Overtime pay will no longer be calculated at 1.5 hours, but at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Employees will only be eligible for general holiday pay if they have worked for their employer at least 30 days in the previous year.
  • Employees will only be entitled to general holiday pay if they would regularly work on the general holiday (or if they actually work on the general holiday).

Bill 2 also proposes changes to the Labour Relations Code, including the following:

  • Unions will not be automatically certified if they have over 65% employee support, a vote will once again be mandatory.
  • Unions would now have 90-days (instead of the current six months) to provide evidence of employee support for certification.
  • A Program is to be established in fall 2019 to provide “support and assistance” to unionized employees.
  • Changes are also proposed to the Marshalling of Proceedings sections to reduce duplication of proceedings in multiple forums.

Premier Jason Kenney also announced that the minimum wage for workers ages 13-17 would be reduced from $15 per hour to $13 per hour. This change was executed through an Order in Council, and takes effect June 26, 2019.

If you would like to be kept up to date on developments in this area, contact us at clientrelations@rmrf.com.

This post is meant to provide information and is not intended to provide legal advice. You should consult a lawyer. Although every effort has been made to provide current and accurate information, changes to the law may cause the information in this post to be outdated.