Alberta Labour Standards for 2018

Four white bucket chairs with wooden legs are set against a gray wall, like a waiting room.

It has been 29 years since Alberta Labour Standards were last reviewed and changed. The changes effective in 2018 are as follows:

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage has already been increased in recent years and is going to have one more increase to $15.00 per hour.  This increase comes into effect on October 1, 2018.

Deductions from wages

Employers are prohibited from holding back wages due to faulty work or cash shortages.  This is really important for anyone in the hospitality or retail industry.


For every 5 hours of consecutive work an employer must provide a 30 min break.  This can be taken in two 15 min breaks or as one 30 min break.  These breaks can be paid or unpaid.

Overtime banking

Employees will now be entitled to bank 1.5 hours for every 1 hour of overtime worked instead of the old rules of banking 1 hour for every 1 hour worked.  This also includes all salaried employees.  However there are industries that are exempt from the overtime rules.

Statutory holidays

The calculation for statutory holidays has changed to 5% of the wages for the prior 4 weeks.

Probationary period

The probationary period has been changed from three months to 90 days.

Job protected leaves

To qualify for job protected leaves you must be employed for a minimum of 90 days.

Maternity / Parental Leave 16 weeks maternity and 37 weeks parental but may be adjusted as necessary. Job protection for 62 weeks.For Non-birth or adoptive parents parental leave must be completed within 53 weeks following the birth or adoption.
Compassionate Care This job protected leave will be increased from 8 weeks to 27 weeks.
Bereavement Leave Up to 3 days unpaid per calendar year.
Critical Illness of a child Up to 36 weeks of unpaid leave for a seriously ill child.
Death or Disappearance of a child Up to 52 weeks unpaid for a parent of a child that has disappeared as a result of a crime.
Domestic Violence Up to 10 days unpaid per calendar year to seek such services as lawyer, move, medical etc.
Long-term Injury or illness Up to 16 weeks unpaid leave in a calendar year
Personal and family emergency Up to 5 unpaid days per year for the employee to care for their own health or the care of a family member.



The rules of a group termination have been amended to give greater notice

50 to 100 employees      8 weeks notice

101 to 300 employees    12 weeks notice

Over 300 employees      16 week notice


Failure to comply with Alberta Labour Standards can result in penalties of up to $10,000.00.

For more information you can go directly to the Alberta Labour Standards webpage.

If you would like more information or have any questions about Alberta Labour Standards, feel free to contact us at 780.466.6204, or click here to send us an email.

Thanks to Janet Crawford of KWB Chartered Professional Accountants for providing this content.

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