Due to the unique nature of the agriculture industry, there remains no limitation to the work hours of work for farm and ranch operations, and producers are not required to pay overtime to their employees. Producers aren’t required to provided breaks during daily shifts, but employers are encouraged to provide appropriate rest to help workers stay alert, safe and productive. Employees must be provided with at least 4 days of rest within every 28 days.
Employees must be paid no less than minimum wage (lowest hourly rate) and at least once a month. The current minimum wage is $13.60 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $15.00 per hour, effective October 1, 2018. Temporary Foreign Workers, however, must continue to be paid according to the normal payment requirements outlined in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Employers must provide their employees with a statement of earnings and deductions within 10 days of the end of each pay period.
- Some deductions, like income taxes, are required
- No other deductions are allowed without advance written permission from the employee
- Some deductions are never allowed: faulty workmanship, uniforms, breakage. Deductions are not allowed for cash shortages/loss of property if more than one employee had access to the lost property
What are the requirements for vacation days and vacation pay?
- After 1 year, employees are entitled to at least 2 weeks’ paid vacation. Vacation pay is 4% of wages from the previous year.
- After 5 years, employees are entitled to at least 3 weeks’ paid vacation. Vacation pay increases to 6% of wages from the previous year.
What are the requirements for general (statutory) holiday pay?
Employees are entitled to general (statutory) holiday pay, unless:
- they miss their scheduled shifts right before or after the general holiday without their employer’s consent
- they don’t work on the general holiday when required to
What is a farm and ranch employee entitled to if…
They don’t work the general holiday?
- General holiday pay that’s at least 4.2% of their pay in the 4 weeks leading up to the general holiday.
They work the general holiday?
- Pay that’s at least the employee’s wage rate for each hour worked on the general holiday, and either:
- additional general holiday pay for the day worked that’s at least 4.2% of their pay, earned in the 4 weeks leading up to the general holiday, OR
- one day off in lieu, paid at a rate of 4.2% of their pay, to be taken on a normal work day that’s within 30 days of the general holiday, unless agreed to otherwise
More information on vacation pay, and the rules surrounding it, can be found here: https://www.alberta.ca/vacation-pay.aspx
If you have further questions about these standards, you can call the Alberta Employment Standards office toll-free at 1-877-427-3731. You should also visit the website http://alberta.ca/ESchanges for complete information. Next Worker Wednesday will cover the laws surrounding unpaid leave, resignation, and termination.