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3 Things Staffing Agency Owners Must Know about the Alberta Standards Code Changes

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

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Jun 18, 2018 9:00:00 AM

3-Things-Staffing-Agency-Owners-Must-Know-about-the-Alberta-Standards-Code-Changes--compressorThe world of work and business is evolving. As technology changes how virtually everything is done in business, employers must keep up with the new demands of a competitive marketplace. They’re also looking to keep pace with the changing expectations and demands of employees.

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The rise of just-in-time production has spurred the growth of just-in-time staffing, which has led to the growth in temporary and contract work. The gig economy is now in full swing, and many workers have embraced the increased freedom and latitude it brings. Staffing agencies are more popular than ever before, for employers and job seekers alike.

Governments finally seem to have noticed the significant changes, and now they’re attempting to modernize their employment legislation and standards for this new reality. Ontario introduced a number of changes to employment legislation, and Quebec appears ready to follow suit. Alberta has introduced a raft of changes to the Alberta Standards Code.

If you’re a staffing agency owner, you need to know these three things about the changes.

1. Leave Legislation Is Changing

One of the important changes coming is new leave legislation. One change of potential concern to staffing agency owners is the length of time prior to eligibility for leave. Under the previous version of the code, employees had to remain with an employer for one year before they’d be eligible for any leave.

The revised Code shortens this period significantly, making employees eligible for all current and new leaves after just 90 days. Other changes include extending compassionate care leave and maternity and parental leaves.

2. Changing Requirements for Compressed Work Weeks

Many employers utilize what’s been known as a “compressed work week.” A good example is a weekend shift that encompasses three 12-hour shifts worked on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is just shy of the traditional 40-hour workweek but occurs in a much shorter period of time.

This type of work is to be renamed “averaging agreements” and will allow employers and employees to average the employees’ worked hours over a period of one to 12 weeks for the purposes of determining overtime. It must have majority support from affected employees.

3. Changes to Wages

The new Alberta Standards Code has several provisions pertaining to wages. Perhaps the biggest change is to the minimum wage, which will rise to $15 per hour in October 2018. This will be the highest minimum wage in Canada until Ontario follows suit with a $15 minimum wage in 2019.

The revised Code also contains provisions about general holiday pay, overtime, and vacation pay. Holiday pay will now be calculated at five percent of wages, holiday pay, and vacation pay earned in the four weeks preceding the holiday. Employees are no longer required to have worked 30 days in the past year to be eligible.

Vacation pay is now set at four percent of wages for employees who have been employed five years or less. For those who have been employed for more than five years, the rate is six percent.

Overtime banking is now being extended from three months to six months, allowing employees to bank overtime hours for longer. The revised code also allows a banked overtime hour to count as an hour and a half, rather than the straight hour-for-hour formula used previously. Thus, an employee who banks 40 hours of overtime can do so over six months, and they would be entitled to 60 hours of lieu time.

Why You Need to Know

Many staffing agencies offer payroll services to their clients. It’s thus important for them to be aware of changes to employment legislation, especially surrounding leaves, vacations, overtime, and wages.

Keep these changes to the Alberta Standards Code in mind and you’ll be better prepared to serve your clients with operations in Alberta.

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Topics: Staffing Industry

Shannon Dowdall

Shannon Dowdall is a business development specialist at The Staffing Edge. She brings 10 years of extensive customer service and sales experience to her role. Shannon studied business marketing at Sheridan College and proceeded to work in the hustle of the fitness industry as a sales and marketing manager selling commercial fitness equipment. Passionate about sales and marketing and having grown up in the recruitment industry, the move to The Staffing Edge was a great fit. Shannon enjoys working with new potential members to help them discover how we can help put them on the path to prosperity and focus on the future, without all the worry that comes with owning a staffing company. In her free time, she enjoys being active outdoors by playing soccer, skiing and snowboarding, and hiking. The Staffing Edge works seamlessly with our members and Shannon makes sure all new members are equipped with the information and tools they need to move forward with a “business edge.”
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