How the Employment Standards Enforcement Process Works

How the Employment Standards Enforcement Process Works


The purpose of this document is to inform employers, employees and other stakeholders about the possible actions that can result from an investigation under Alberta’s Employment Standards Code and Regulation.

It is the responsibility of all employers and employees that fall under Alberta’s Employment Standards to ensure that minimum legislated standards are met.

Should violations of these standards be determined to have occurred, Employment Standards Officers may pursue a variety of enforcement actions, including recommendation for prosecution in the courts.

Note: This is a plain-language outline of the Employment Standards enforcement process. Terms used to describe certain processes, documents or decisions may be different in formal investigations.


The terms defined below are used in this document:

  • ES – Alberta Labour, Employment Standards Branch
  • Officer – An Employment Standards Officer, a government employee responsible for enforcing Employment Standards legislation
  • Director – The Director of Employment Standards
  • Inspection Notice – A highly visible tag that employers must post in a conspicuous location during an ES investigation

Important Notes

ES has the right to place liens on and/or seize property belonging to the employer, including bank accounts or other assets. If another company (sometimes called a third party) owes money to the employer, ES may seize this money from the third party as well.

Matters referred to collection agencies have a 25 per cent collection fee added.

Employment Standards Compliance Enforcement Process

The first few steps of the process followed by ES when enforcing standards are depicted in the following diagram. Click on the diagram for an interactive map that displays detailed information as you hover your mouse over each box.

You can also download a PDF version of this simplified process and find information regarding the full Compliance and Enforcement Procedures.

If you have questions about this process, or require further information regarding Alberta’s Employment Standards, please contact the Employment Standards Contact Centre at 780‑427‑3731 or 1‑877‑427‑3731.

You can also inquire via email by visiting the Employment Standards Online Inquiry page.

Modified: 2017-09-22
PID: 14207