Payment of Earnings

The Employment Standards Code requires that employees must be paid at least once a month. Employers may establish one or more pay periods for the calculation of wages and overtime pay owed to an employee. Wages, overtime pay and general holiday pay must be paid within 10 consecutive days after the end of each pay period. Employees may be paid in cash, by cheque or money order or by direct deposit, into an account of the employee’s choice, in any recognized financial institution.

The Code allows certain legal deductions to be made from an employee’s earnings. These include deductions for Income Tax, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance as well as deductions resulting from a judgment or order of a court.

At the end of each pay period, an employer must provide an employee with a statement of earnings showing the following:

  • regular and overtime hours of work;
  • wage rate and overtime rate;
  • earnings paid that show each component separately;
  • deductions from earnings and the reason for each deduction;
  • time off in lieu of payment of overtime; and
  • statement period.

If an employer intends to reduce an employee’s wage rate, overtime rate, general holiday pay, vacation pay or termination pay, the employee must be notified before the start of the pay period in which the reduction is to take effect. However, these rates must always be at least the minimum required by the legislated standards.

When an employee loses or quits his or her job, special rules apply as to when outstanding earnings need to be paid.

To learn more, see the following fact sheets:

Created: 2001-11-22
Modified: 2011-03-21
PID: 997

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