Administering Employment Standards

Who is Subject to Alberta’s Minimum Employment Standards?

Nearly all employers and employees in Alberta are subject to the standards in the Employment Standards Code and Regulation. The exceptions are employers and employees who fall under federal legislation, including employees of the federal government or those in industries such as banking, interprovincial trucking or radio and television.

Groups of employees or industries may be subject to a variation in standards, or be exempt from one or more of the laws. In the detailed description of each standard, the most common variations or exemption will be identified. If you have questions about the application of any standard, contact the Employment Standards Telephone Counselling Service.

What Services Ensure that Employment Standards are Observed and Enforced?

To ensure Alberta employers and employees understand and follow employment standards, our staff provide:

Telephone services

The following services can be accessed by calling our toll-free province-wide information line at 1‑877‑427‑3731 (dial 780‑427‑3731 in Edmonton and surrounding areas).

  • Advisors who are able to address a broad range of employment standards questions and issues – available during regular business hours (8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
  • Recorded messages on core employment standards – available 24 hours a day.

Employers and employees who fall under federal jurisdiction should contact the Federal Labour Program of Human Resources and Social Development Canada at 1‑866‑713‑4397 for information about their rights and responsibilities.

Educational programs

Employment Standards staff provide hands-on training designed to provide participants with a better understanding of the rights and obligations of employers and employees under the Employment Standards Code.

Investigations and compliance initiatives

When employees believe they have received less than minimum employment standards and are unable to resolve the matter with their employer, Employment Standards staff will investigate the matter on receipt of a written complaint. Employees who want to file a complaint with Employment Standards must file within six months of the date on which their employment terminated. To learn more, see the Complaint Resolution Process Fact Sheet.

Each year, Employment Standards targets employers and industry sectors that have shown continued non-compliance with minimum employment standards. Based on the sensitivity of the issues identified, a range of actions can be taken to achieve compliance. These actions include education, mediation, investigation, audit and prosecution.

Frequently, when a firm goes into receivership or bankruptcy, employees are owed wages or other earnings. For Employment Standards policy and procedures in these situations, see the Receiverships Fact Sheet and the Bankruptcies Fact Sheet.

To assist in the collection of money owed to employees, Employment Standards may employ the services of a collection agency. The circumstances and procedures involved are described in the Collecting an Employment Standards Judgment Fact Sheet.

Created: 2005-08-16
Modified: 2013-05-01
PID: 1696

Contact Employment Standards

Call the Employment Standards Contact Centre for general information or submit an inquiry online:

  • 780‑427‑3731 (Edmonton area)
  • 1‑877‑427‑3731 (Toll-free)

More contact options