UPDATE - The Legislature has passed this legislation. Bill 32 received Royal Assent on July 29th.
Alberta’s Minister of Labour and Immigration, Hon. Jason Copping, introduced Bill 32, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, in the Legislature on Tuesday July 7, 2020. The Bill makes several substantive changes to both the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code.
If passed, the following changes to the Employment Standards Code will take effect on August 15th:
Changes to the requirements with respect to group termination notice
Changes to the length of temporary layoffs
Changes to the rules to apply for variances from the Code
All other changes to the Employment Standards Code will take effect on November 1st, including changes to:
Rules for calculating general holiday pay
Rules governing payroll deductions
When final pay must be paid upon termination
Rules governing hours of work averaging arrangements
Rules around vacation accrual during a legislated leave
Rules around rest periods during a shift
Allow an employer to issue electronic pay statements when certain conditions are met
Many of the changes to the Labour Relations Code are intended to take effect upon Bill 32 receiving royal assent, including:
Employers and unions can agree to alter within their collective agreements’ employment standards rules for hours of work, notice of work times, days of rest, and overtime hours under hours of work averaging arrangements.
Changes to reverse onus rules with respect to complaints of prohibited practices by employers and unions.
Changes to when remedial certification can be ordered as a remedy for an employer’s misconduct.
Changes to the circumstances where the Labour Relations Board could order first contract arbitration.
Timelines for certification and revocation processes will be removed, however the expectation is that applications will be processed in no later than six months.
Not all changes to the Labour Relations Code take effect upon royal assent. This includes provisions concerning the collection of union dues for “non-core” activities, the requirement for unions to provide annual financial statements to their members, rules governing secondary picketing, the opportunity to renew a collective agreement prior to expiry with consent, provisions governing labour relations specifically within the construction sector and the inclusion of nurse practitioners in the Labour Relations Code.