Effective October 1, 2016, Alberta's minimum wage will
increase from $11.20 per hour to $12.20 per hour. This is the first
step in the Provincial government's plan to increase the
minimum wage in Alberta to $15.00 per hour by October 1, 2018. The
second step of the plan will kick in on October 1, 2017 when the
minimum wage will increase to $13.60 per hour.
The minimum hourly wage is not the only aspect of the Employment
Standards legislation that is changing, weekly and monthly minimum
wages are increasing as well. Many individuals in Alberta are paid
based on an hourly rate but certain occupations, typically
involving irregular work schedules or commissioned earnings, are
not well suited to an hourly pay scale. Employees in such
situations, including some salespersons, land agents and other
professionals1 do not have to record their hours
worked and are entitled to a minimum weekly wage, currently $446
per week. As of October 1, 2016, this amount will increase to $486
per week. In-home caregivers will also see an increase to the
minimum monthly wage, currently $2127, which will increase to $2316
on October 1, 2016. By October 1, 2018, these minimums will
increase to $598 per week and $2848 per month, respectively.
Additionally, as of October 1, 2016 there will no longer be a
lower minimum wage for employees serving liquor as part of their
regular job. Instead, these workers must be paid the regular hourly
minimum wage, which, as of that date, will be $12.20 per hour.
More information on these and other impending changes can be
found on the Government of Alberta's website. The lawyers in
the Field Law Labour and Employment Group are also available to
help clarify any questions or concerns you may have about these
changes and their potential impact on your business.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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