Bill 17, the Labour Statutes and Amendment Act, 2022 (Bill 17) was introduced by the Alberta government on April 21, 2022 and received Royal Assent on May 31, 2022. It amends both the Employment Standards Code, RSA 2000, c E-9 (the ESC) and the Labour Relations Code, RSA 2000, c L-1 (the LRC). The intent of Bill 17 was to offer greater job security to employees.
Effective May 31, 2022, the amendments to sections 53.2(1)(c) and 53.983 of the ESC will allow:
- Employees who have worked at least 12 consecutive weeks for the same employer to no longer be restricted by a 20-day limit for reservist leave when attending annual reservist training. Instead, they are able to take as much time as needed; and
- Employees who have been employed by the same employer for at least 90 days, and who would have been either biological, adoptive or surrogate parents, to take up to three days of unpaid bereavement leave (in a calendar year) when a pregnancy ends other than as a result of a live birth.
Effective July 1, 2022, amendments to sections 58.2 to 58.5 of the LRC will allow academic staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellow associations to continue representing their respective members in collective bargaining indefinitely.
Next steps for Alberta employers
With these legislative changes, employers should review and update their existing workplace policies and procedures, to ensure their compliance, namely with respect to the expansion of reservist and bereavement leaves.
If you would like assistance auditing your workplace policies, or have any other employment and labour related questions, please reach out to your local Dentons Canada contact.