A couple weeks ago the UCP introduced a new bill, Bill 2 or the Open for Business Act. As a business owner, this bill will directly impact the way that you are required to pay your employees. The changes will take place on two different dates, June 26th and September 1st of this year. The changes will be to: minimum wage for youth workers, general holiday pay, and banked time. Below is a summary of the changes, if you would like to read more about this bill you can check out the Alberta website here.
Minimum Wage on Youth Workers
This will be the first change to take effect, it will happen on June 26th and effect workers who are 13 to 17 years old. The new minimum wage for these employees will now be $13/hour. This is down from the current $15/hour. A couple notes about this change:
• The youth must be enrolled in school, if they are not a student the $13/hour does not apply to them.
• The $13 only applies to the first 28 hours worked in that week, anything over 28 hours must be paid out at $15/hour. Unless it is a break period, than all hours can be paid at $13/hour.
o For example: if a student works 32 hours during a non-break period, 28 hours would be at $13 and the other 4 would be at $15.
• If you are going to lower the wage on one of your employees, you must give them notice before the period in which this change would be taking effect.
General Holiday Pay
The rules surround General Holiday pay will be taking effect on September 1st. Currently, every employee receives 5% of their previous 28 days wages. The new rules will tweak this formula slightly, as not everyone will be eligible for General Holiday pay. The changes will be:
• You must work at least 30 days in the previous 12 months to be eligible
• It must be a normal working day for the employee, or you have actually worked on that day to receive General Holiday pay. If you do work on that day it will be 1.5 times their wage, if it is your normal working day they will be entitled to the same General Holiday pay as before.
o For example: If one of your employees is always off on a Friday, you would not need to pay them Good Friday, as it is not one of their normal working days.
This change will also take effect on September 1st. Currently, if an employee works overtime you must pay them or bank their time at 1.5 times their wage. This bill will bring back the older banked overtime structure, in which you only need to give them a 1:1 ratio for this time.
For example, if you an employee works a 10 hour day, you will now only need to give them 2 hours of banked time instead of 3.
If you have any questions about the Open for Business Act and how it will affect your payroll, give us a call today!