Alberta Labour Laws

A discussion of Alberta labour laws would include reference to both labour law (Labour Relations Code and Canada Labour Code) and employment law (Employment Standards Code and Employment Standards Regulations).

The principal labour laws in Alberta are:

  • Alberta Labour Relations Code covering labour law;
  • the Canada Labour Code covering federal workers;
  • Alberta's Employment Standards Code, and Employment Standards Regulations, covering employment law; and
  • Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Act.

It is the responsibility of, and in the interest of, all workers to be familiar with employment laws which have been legislated to protect their rights as workers, and to ensure that employers provide their workers with a safe working environment.

The Labour Relations Code (LRC)

The Labour Relations Code regulates the union-management relationship in Alberta. The LRC governs the rights and responsibilities of employers, trade unions, and employees in the employment relationship.

This LRC applies to most unionized workers in Alberta, with the exclusions being, workers falling under federal jurisdiction where they are covered under the Canada Labour Code, self-employed workers, farm/ranch workers, and domestic workers.

Special provisions in the LRC also govern the collective bargaining in the construction industry, which is a major industry in Alberta.

The Labour Relations Code is administered by the Labour Relations Board which is responsible for the application and interpretation of the labour laws in Alberta.

The Canada Labour Code

In Alberta, as throughout Canada, workers in industries such as, the airlines, railways, inter-provincial trucking, shipping, and telecommunications fall under federal jurisdiction and are regulated under the Canada Labour Code (CLC).

The CLC regulates labour actions such as strikes and lockouts, federal employment standards, standard hours, wages, vacation and holidays, and occupational health and safety.

The Employment Standards Code and Employment Standards Regulations

The Employment Standards Code together with the Employment Standards Regulations, regulates Alberta's employment standards in the non-union, and non-federal workplace. These cover issues dealing with, wages and earnings, hours of work, overtime, termination of employment, vacation and holidays.

Alberta Labour Laws Covering Special Interest Industries

The Public Service Employee Relations Act (PSERA) governs labour relations in the public sector, Alberta government agencies, and Alberta Crown corporations.

The Police Officers Collective Bargaining Act regulates the labour relations issues of municipal police forces throughout Alberta, while the Police Act handles discipline and discharge cases.

The Post-secondary Learning Act. In Post-secondary learning institutions the labour relations issues for academic staff are regulated under the provisions of the Post-secondary Learning Act. This Act requires the formation of a faculty association to serve as the bargaining agent for academic staff, and it also requires the educational institution to negotiate with the faculty association to reach a collective agreement.

Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Act

This act's legislation ensures that employers and employees maintain a safe and healthy workplace to avoid and/or minimize accidents in the workplace. For more on Alberta labour laws see Canadian Labour Laws and Canadian Employment Standards Canadian Employment Standards