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Temporary Updates to Alberta Employment Standards - COVID 19

Here is a quick summary of some of the temporary changes to the Employment Standards in Alberta due to COVID-19 that may impact small businesses . If you require support with these changes please reach out.

1. Job Protected Leave - updates to Personal and Family Responsibility Leave with COVID-19 for employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19:

  • waiving the 90 days employment required

  • maximum time originally from 5 calendar days per year to 14 days now to a flexible length linked to the guidance from Chief Medical Officer

  • no required medical note

2. Notice of shift changes: 24 hr notice is removed

3. HWAA (Hours of Work Averaging Agreement) 2 week change notice is waived

4. Temporary layoff maximum number of days from 60 to 120 days (retroactive to March 17th)

Recommended Follow Up from Change:

  • have a benefits plan for the job protected leave (maintaining benefits, how premiums are paid, or terminating benefits), as the timeline is unknown you may want to put in a review day or specific limits to control costs. Also need to ensure it aligns with your benefits policy.

  • Need to be assessed when looking at permanent terminations as if meeting the leave requirements would not be able to process a permanent termination. Need to look at temporary layoff / leave of absence as an alternative.

  • When making temporary layoff decisions, ensure they are informed decisions: see previous blog for details.

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