Alberta Labour Law Changes Part 2: What it Means For Employees in 2018

    Last year, the Alberta Labour Code underwent a much-needed review, and as of January 1st, 2018, some changes to our labour laws have come into effect.  Here’s a summary of the Labour Code changes regarding workers’ rights around leave.

    Please note, all leaves listed below are unpaid, but ensure job protection for the employee taking time off. Many of these leaves, however, align with federal insurance programs.

    Leave eligibility

    In the past, a worker had to be employed for 1 year in order to be eligible for leave. Now, employees will be eligible for leave after 90 days.

    Compassionate care leave

    Prior to these changes, compassionate care leave was offered for up to 8 weeks. This unpaid leave has now been extended to 27 weeks. Additionally caregiver status will now include non-primary caregivers.

    Parental leave

    Maternity leave has now been extended from 15 weeks to 16 weeks, and parental leave has been extended to 62 weeks.

    The following are new unpaid leaves that have been added to the Labour Code this year:

    Personal and family responsibility leave

    Offers 5 days of job protection per year for personal sickness or care of an immediate family member.

    Long-term illness and injury leave

    Offers 16 weeks of job protection per year for long-term sickness or personal injury. Proper medical documentation is required.

    Bereavement leave

    Offers 3 days of job protection per year in the event of an immediate family member’s death.

    Domestic violence leave

    Offers 10 days of job protection per year for employees dealing with domestic violence.

    Citizenship ceremony leave

    Offers a half-day of job protection for employees who are attending a citizenship ceremony.

    Critical illness of an adult family member

    Offers 16 weeks of unpaid job protection for the care of an ill or seriously injured adult family member.

    Critical illness of a child

    Offers 36 weeks of unpaid job protection for parents with seriously ill or injured children.

    Death or disappearance of a child

    Offers 52 weeks of unpaid job protection for an employee whose child has disappeared as a result of crime. Offers 104 weeks of unpaid job protection for an employee whose child has died as a result of a crime.

    Once again, although these leaves are unpaid, many align with Canadian federal insurance programs. So if you’re in need of time off work, be sure to check if you qualify for government insurance.

    These are just a few of the many changes that were made to our labour code this year. For a summary of all the changes around compensation, click here.


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