A closer look at proposed changes to Alberta’s workplace rules

File photo. Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Alberta’s NDP government on Wednesday tabled the first major overhaul of the province’s workplace rules in almost 30 years. Here are some of the proposed changes in the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act:

  • Guaranteed job protection for people taking unpaid leave for illness, injury, personal and family responsibility, bereavement, domestic violence or disappearance of a child. An individual must have worked for an employer for 90 days to qualify.
  • Job protection for maternity leave extended to 16 weeks from 15 weeks. Parental leave extended to 52 weeks from 37 weeks.
  • Minimum 30-minute break (paid or unpaid) for every five hours of consecutive employment.
  • Employers would no longer be able to apply to pay people with disabilities less than the minimum wage.
  •  Minimum work age raised to 13 from 12.
  •  Overtime would be banked at 1.5 hours for every hour worked instead of straight time.
  • Overtime could be banked for up to six months.
  •  Minimum annual vacation would be two weeks off and paid at a rate of at least four per cent of an employee’s salary.
  •  Unions could be certified without a secret ballot if more than 65 per cent of employees had verified membership cards. Less than 66 per cent would still require a vote.
  •  Essential services rules extended to continuing-care sector, health-care labs and blood-supply workers to ensure key staff are on the job during labour disputes.
  •  Family members employed on a family’s farm would be exempt from all employment standards.