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Is your Company ready for Alberta's upcoming Fair and Family-friendly Workplace Act?

Fair and Family-friendly Workplace Act, no it doesn't mean you can send your kids to work to earn their keep, but there are some significant changes to Alberta Employment Standards - make sure your company is ready. This blog covers a brief summary of the changes and what you need to do as an organization to get ready for them.

Most have probably heard about Bill 17, it has been in the news since first major proposal in May 2017, this Act was passed in June and rolls out in January 2018. This Act is the first major overhaul of some of Alberta's Employment Standards in 30 years. The intent is to bring Alberta aligned with most Canadian's in regards to family-friendly workplace. It impacts leaves eligibly, types of leaves, overtime, definition of compressed work week and more. Below is a brief summary and my recommendations for your company.

So what does that mean for your organization? First off as an employer you need to ensure that you provide the minimum standards to your employees and that none of your corporate policies contradict the standards. You will need to understand the upcoming changes and update your corporate policies if they do not align with the new standards. It is good practise to be ready for these before the changes occur to be proactive and ensure employees are aware of the changes to your corporate policies so now is the time to get rolling on this. Below is a summary of the changes and what policies you will want to look at, if you need support reviewing and updating your policies Lakeland HR Solutions can support you with this. For detailed information check out this article from the Alberta Government.

1. Workplace Leaves: there are additional job protected leaves added such as bereavement leave, disappearance or death of a child, critical illness of a child, and long term illness/injury. Also eligibility timeline has decreased for most leaves from one year aof employment to 90 days. If you have a workplace leave policy ensure you update to align with the changes.

2. Compressed Work Week - is now defined as "Averaging Agreements" and with employer and employee agreement can have overtime calculated based on an average of weekly hours over a 1 to 12 week period. An averaging agreement will have to be made with employees and employers for this type of schedule - ensure that you implement this for your compressed work week employees.

3. Overtime - the big one for overtime is that time in lieu will now have to be provided at time and a half instead of time for time. For companies that work on overtime agreements and bank time they will need to revise those overtime agreements and their practise of this.

4. General Holiday Pay - employees are elgible for it immediately upon starting employment (used to have to wait 90 days) and now will be calculated at 5% of employees wages from 4 weeks prior to the holiday.

5. Youth employment has more guidelines around what jobs youth can work in, those under 13 are not permitted to work (some limited jobs with permit is allowed)

6. Termination and Lays offs - updated standards around temporary layoffs and group lays offs.

7. Vacation and Vacation pay is clarified for employee's entitlement, the same 4% (2 weeks) for up to 5 years of employment and 6% (3 weeks) upon completion of 5 years employment remains.

This is just a summary of some of the changes there are more as detailed in the above link. If you need any support with these changes or updated policies contact Lakeland HR Solutions today!

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