If you’re wondering about the current minimum wage in Alberta, you’ve come to the right place. The minimum wage in Alberta has remained unchanged since 2018, and it stands at a competitive rate of $15.00 per hour, making it one of the highest minimum wages in Canada.
Most workers in Alberta must be paid at least the minimum wage, but there are certain situations where different wage schedules apply. For instance, students under the age of 18 have their own minimum wage, and some professions, like salespersons and domestic employees, may have different wage rates based on minimum weekly or monthly pay.
While Alberta’s minimum wage used to be one of the highest in Canada, other provinces have made significant strides in recent years. Currently, Alberta offers the seventh-highest minimum wage in the country.
In this article, we’ll cover all the essential information you need to know about Alberta’s minimum wage. We’ll discuss how it compares to other provinces, its impact on the workforce, and potential future changes. So, read on to become well-versed in the ins and outs of minimum wage in Alberta!
The Current Minimum Wage in Alberta
From 2018 to now, the minimum wage has remained at $15.00 per hour. The Employment Standards Regulations stipulates the following minimum wage rates:
Type of Employee
Minimum Wage Rates
Students under 18
$13/hour (restrictions apply)
General minimum wage
Domestic employees (living in their employer’s home)
Salespersons (including land agents and certain professionals)
Minimum Wage in Alberta for Student
The Employment Standards Amendment Regulation introduced a student wage for job creation, which became effective on June 26, 2019. Students under 18 are eligible for $13/hour, but employers can choose to pay them more if they wish.
The new rate applies for the first 28 hours of work in a week during school weeks. If a student works more than 28 hours, the federal minimum wage of $15/hour comes into effect, with overtime rules still applicable.
For students employed during spring break, Christmas break, or summer vacation, the new job creation student wage of $13/hour applies.
The minimum student wage rate under the Job Creation Program applies only to:
- Students currently enrolled in a school (not applicable to dropouts).
- Students under 18 enrolled in secondary, post-secondary, or vocational education.
If a student already earns $15/hour or more, the employer can maintain that pay rate and is not required to reduce it below $13/hour.
This amendment provides opportunities for students to gain work experience while also ensuring employers have the flexibility to offer competitive wages.
Basic Rules for Alberta’s Minimum Wage
In Alberta, employers and employees must adhere to specific rules regarding minimum wage:
- The most essential rule is that employers must pay their employees at least the minimum wage.
- The current general minimum wage applies to all workers except students under 18.
- According to Alberta Labour Standards, any additional earnings on top of the minimum wage, such as tips or expenses, do not count towards the minimum wage salary.
- There are restrictions to the new job creation student wage that came into effect on June 26, 2019.
- Employees covered by the Employment Standards Regulation or those who have been granted a variance are exceptions to certain rules.
- Minimum wages for some salespeople and domestics vary weekly and monthly.
- Employers can deduct $3.35 per consumed meal and $4.41 per day for lodging provided to employees.
Employees are entitled to receive payment for at least 3 hours of work at the minimum wage, even if they are sent home early after working for less than 3 hours. However, they may not be required to complete the entire 3 hours in certain cases.
Weekly Minimum Wage Rates
Certain employees are entitled to a weekly minimum wage rate of $598.
These employees include direct selling and commission salespersons, denturists, chiropractors, land agents, dentists, architects, agrologists, lawyers, engineers, accountants, veterinarians, optometrists, and podiatrists.
Domestic Employee Wage Rates
Domestic employees in their employer’s homes are entitled to a minimum monthly wage of $2,848. If they do not live in their employer’s homes, they must be paid at least $15 per hour.
A domestic employee is someone employed to work in an employer’s residence, catering to the household members’ care, comfort, and convenience. Please note that casual babysitting falls outside the scope of domestic employment.
Regardless of the type of domestic employment, all domestic employees are entitled to certain rights and benefits, including the minimum wage, general (statutory) holidays with pay, a statement of earnings and deductions for each pay period, a rest period of at least 30 minutes, paid or unpaid, for every consecutive 5 hours of work, at least one day of rest in each work week, vacations and vacation pay, a notice of termination of employment, and job-protected leaves.
Employees living in their employer’s home must pay the full monthly minimum wage rate, regardless of the number of hours worked. Prorating of the monthly minimum wage is allowed if the employee agrees to work for a portion of a month, such as mornings only. The maximum allowable deductions an employer can make are $4.41 per night of lodging and $3.35 per meal. However, deductions cannot be made for meals not consumed.
The minimum wage rate applies for all hours worked for employees who don’t live in their employer’s home. Deductions for meals from the minimum wage rate cannot exceed $3.35 per consumed meal.
Alberta Minimum Wage and Hours Worked
The minimum wage and employment rules in Alberta differ based on various factors. Here’s what you need to know:
- The 2-Hour Rule: This rule applies to school bus drivers, in-home care staff, local sport and recreation program employees, and 13- to 15-year-olds working on school days. If you must be available for less than 2 hours of work, your employer still has to pay you for 2 hours at your regular rate.
- The 3-Hour Rule: Employees scheduled to work for three hours or more must be paid for at least three hours of work, even if they work less than the full duration. This prevents employers from scheduling short shifts without proper pay.
- Overtime Rules: Alberta employers must pay at least the minimum wage or a fixed rate of hourly wages to employees not entitled to overtime. Overtime pay is required if you work more than 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week. Employers cannot ask employees to waive their right to overtime pay without a recorded agreement.
- Employees Working Split Shifts: Employees who work a split shift with a break of more than 1 hour between segments must be paid the minimum compensation for each segment.
- Employees Attending Compulsory Meetings or Training: Employees attending compulsory meetings or training on their scheduled day off must be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime if applicable. Meetings or training sessions less than 3 hours long follow the 3-hour minimum pay rule.
- Employees ‘On Call’ or ‘On Standby’ at Home: Employees not required to perform work while on call or standby at home are not entitled to payment. Payment is required only when an employee performs work during such periods and must be compensated for a minimum of 3 hours per period worked.
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Final Thoughts on Minimum Wage in Alberta
Navigating the intricacies of the Minimum Wage in Alberta is essential for employers and employees. Understanding the different rules for various employment situations ensures fair compensation and adherence to the law.
As a business owner, stay informed about the minimum wage rates and overtime requirements to foster a motivated and content workforce. And for employees, know your rights and entitlements to secure your well-deserved compensation.