New Business Laws Come Into Effect In Alberta

On behalf of Osuji & Smith posted in business on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.

Businesses often have to make adjustments when new laws come into effect. In Alberta, business owners are preparing for new labour legislation regarding holiday pay, overtime and vacation. The controversial new regulations will also restrict the duties those under the age of 18 can perform in the workplace.

The new legislation came into effect on Jan. 1 and covers a variety of issues which affect employees and business owners. Among these is a protection for employees ensuring they do not lose their jobs for taking a sick day. Additionally, employees will have the right to expanded maternity or parental leave, as well as compassionate leave for ill family members.

While Alberta workers were able to access federal employment insurance when they went on leave, unlike other provinces their ability to return to their jobs after taking time off was not protected. This has changed with the new legislation, which guarantees a return to work for those taking leave for these reasons. Workers under 18 will be restricted from undertaking hazardous tasks, but are entitled to the same minimum wage as experienced workers.

People in Alberta disagree on the merits of the new legislation. Business associations worry about costs, while government spokespeople and union representatives advocate for the changes. Alberta labour legislation has not been updated since 1988 until now, though some laws were amended in that period. For this reason, many businesses may have questions or concerns as they adjust to the large-scale changes in the province. Those with questions or who may be facing a legal challenge should contact an Alberta lawyer.

Source: CBC News, “New labour legislation a burden on Alberta businesses, chambers say“, Natasha Riebe, Dec. 29, 2017

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