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Alberta Government Implements Temporary Changes To Employment Standards – Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts


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On April 6, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced the
following temporary changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code (Code) to help
employers navigate the unprecedented circumstances associated with
the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The maximum period for temporary layoffs has been increased
    from 60 days to 120 days, subject to certain limited circumstances
    which may provide for a further extension. Notably, this change has
    been made retroactive for any temporary layoffs related to COVID-19
    that occurred on or after March 17, 2020.
  • Employers are no longer required to provide group termination
    notice to affected employees and unions when terminating the
    employment of 50 or more employees. However, employers must still
    give group termination notice to the Minister of Labour and
    Immigration as soon as is practicable. Individuals are still
    entitled to statutory notice of termination, or pay in lieu
    thereof, under the Code.
  • Employers are no longer required to provide employees with
    24-hours’ written notice of shift changes. Similarly, the
    requirement for employers to provide employees with two weeks’
    notice of changes to work schedules under averaging agreements has
    been removed.
  • Employees who are caring for ill or self-isolated family
    members due to COVID-19, or for children who have been affected by
    the closure of schools and daycares, now have access to unpaid
    job-protected leave. The length of the unpaid leave is flexible and
    there is no requirement to have been employed by the same employer
    for 90 days to qualify.
  • The process to obtain approvals for modifications to employment
    standards under the Code has been changed to permit employers and
    employees to respond quicker to changing conditions in the wake of
    COVID-19.

The provincial government has announced that these temporary
changes to the Code are effective as of April 6, 2020. They will
remain in place as long as the provincial government determines
they are needed and the public health emergency order remains in
effect.

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