Alberta Leave Laws
Paid federal statutory holidays
- New Year’s Day – 1st January
- Good Friday – 2 days before Easter Sunday
- Victoria Day – Monday preceding May 25th
- Canada Day – 1st July
- Labour Day – first Monday of September
- Thanksgiving Day – second Monday of October
- Remembrance Day – 11th November
- Christmas Day – 25th December
- Boxing Day – 26th December
Provincial Paid holidays
Statutory holiday pay rates refer to an employee’s wage and entitlements when they have to work on public holidays.
Businesses are not required by law to close during the statutory holidays. To be eligible to work and receive stat pay, the employee must have:
- Worked at least 30 days in the last 12 months (excluding annual leave)
- Worked the allocated shift before and after the holiday
Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement: Daily wage + 1.5 times regular rate OR regular rate + one day paid leave
In Alberta, employees are entitled to 2 consecutive weeks of vacation leave after the first year of employment and 3 consecutive weeks of leave after five years of employment.
Employees are entitled to vacation pay of 4% of gross wages for the first five years of employment and 6 % of gross wages after five years of employment. Employees are entitled to receive the pay within 14 days prior to the commencement of a vacation.
The rollover policy
- Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay
Vacation is considered earned wages.
- Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy
In Canada is illegal to use the policy.
- Payment of Accrued Vacation upon Termination
The employee’s earnings must be paid within 3 days after their last day of employment when proper notice is given and 10 days without given notice. Earnings include all wages, overtime pay, vacation pay, general holiday pay, and termination pay owed.
If an employee is terminated or quits prior to being able to use their vacation pay, the amount accrued must be paid out within a certain period of time following the dismissal.
- Vacation and PTO
Vacation pay is calculated as a percentage of the gross wages an employee earns during the “year of employment”.
- Personal and family responsibility leave – Sick Leave
In Canada, there is no legal entitlement to paid sick leave, whether at the federal or provincial level.
Eligible employees are allowed to take up to 5 days of unpaid leave due to their medical condition or to meet family responsibilities in relation to a family member. Employees must provide a notice to an employer. A medical certificate is not required.
Maternity, Paternity, FMLA
Alberta Leave Laws – Maternity Leave
Employers are required to provide to eligible employees up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave. Leave can start any time within the 13 weeks leading up to the estimated due date and no later than the date of birth.
Employees are eligible for leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against the employee, lay off or terminate an employee, or require them to resign, because of pregnancy or childbirth.
Birth mothers must take at least 6 weeks after birth for health reasons, unless:
- the employer agrees to an early return to duties, and
- the employee provides a medical certificate stating the return will not endanger her health
If a pregnancy ends in a miscarriage or stillbirth within 16 weeks of the estimated due date, the employee is still entitled to maternity leave but is not entitled to parental leave.
Employees must provide employers with written notice at least 6 weeks before starting maternity leave. Employer may require employees to provide a medical certificate.
Birth and adoptive parents are entitled to take up to 62 weeks of unpaid parental leave.
Parental leave may be taken by:
- the birth mother, immediately following maternity leave,
- the other parent,
- adoptive parents, or
- both parents, shared between them
Leave can start any time after the birth or adoption of a child, but must be completed within 78 weeks of the date the baby is born or placed with the parents.
If both parents work for the same employer, the employer is not required to provide leave to both employees at the same time.
Jury Duty Leave
Alberta Leave Laws – Jury Duty Leave
All employers are required to provide employees with unpaid leave to perform their duties as a:
- juror, or
- candidate in a jury selection process
Employees are required to provide written notice to their employers, who may also require supporting documents from the employee.
Alberta Leave Laws – Bereavement Leave
Employers are required to provide up to 3 days of unpaid leave upon a family member’s death. Employees are provided with job protection and job reinstatement during the leave.
Employees are eligible for bereavement leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.
Employers are not required to provide leave for employees who have been employed less than 90 days with the same employer.
Leave related to death or disappearance of a child
Employers are required to provide eligible employees with up to 52 weeks if the child has disappeared, and up to 104 weeks if the child has died as a probable result of a crime. Employees are eligible for leave if they have been employed at least 90 days. The leave ensures job protection and job reinstatement.
Employees are entitled to take the leave if:
- they are the parent of a child (under 18 years of age) who has disappeared or has died as the result of the crime (an offense under the Criminal Code of Canada)
If the employee takes leave and the child is then found alive, the period of leave ends the earlier of:
- 14 days after the child is found, or
- 52 weeks after the day the child disappeared
Medical Leave and Compassionate care leave, Critical illness leave and Leave for victims of family violence
Employers are required to provide eligible employees with up to 16 weeks of unpaid long-term illness and injury leave. The leave ensures job protection and job reinstatement.
The law prohibits employers from terminating or laying off employees while on long-term illness and injury leave unless:
- the employer suspends or discontinues the business; in this case, the employer must reinstate the employee if the business starts up again within 52 weeks after their leave ends, or
- the reason for the termination is unrelated to the employee requesting or taking the leave
Employees may be eligible for long-term illness and injury benefits under the federal Employees Insurance program.
Employees are required to provide a medical certificate and a written notice. The medical certificate must be provided to the employer before the leave begins.
Compassionate care Leave
Employers are required to provide eligible employees with up to 27 weeks of unpaid leave to care and give support to a gravely ill family member. The employer is not required to provide leave for more than one employee at the time if they work for the same employer and care for the same family member. A medical certificate is required.
Critical illness leave provides employees with unpaid job-protected leave to care for
- Critically ill child under the age of 18 – up to 36 weeks
- Critically ill adult – up to 16 weeks
Leave for victims of family violence Employees are entitled to take up to 10 days of job-protected unpaid leave due to situations related to domestic violence
Alberta Leave Laws – Reservist Leave
Employers are required to provide up to 20 days of unpaid leave each calendar year for annual training and as long as necessary to accommodate the period of service required for international or domestic deployment. Leave ensures job protection and job reinstatement.
Employees are eligible for Reservist leave if they are a Reservist and have been employed at least 26 consecutive weeks with the same employer. Reservist leave may be taken for the following reasons:
- deployment to a Canadian forces operation outside Canada
- deployment to a Canadian forces operation inside Canada that is assisting with an emergency or the aftermath of an emergency
- annual training, included related travel time, for up to 20 days in a calendar year
- other operations set out as such in the Employment Standards Regulation by the Minister
Employees must provide written notice if requested by the employer.
Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about Alberta Leave Laws.
To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.