No changes to be made to Alberta employment standards without construction industry consultation: ACA

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Alberta’s government says no changes will be made to current construction industry provisions without consulting the industry, responding to industry concerns about proposed new labour and employment standards legislation.

The Alberta Construction Association (ACA) says that, because of concerns raised by members about the employment standards legislation, the labour deputy minister sat down with ACA leadership in June to explain what the changes would mean to the industry.

The government responded to ACA concerns and indicated that no changes will be made to construction industry provisions in the regulations that currently exist, including rules for calculating banking of overtime (OT) hours, termination pay, vacation pay and calculating general holiday pay, according to a published report.

“The ACA’s concerns about banking OT have been addressed,” ACA executive director Ken Gibson said. “Current regulations allow the construction industry banking one hour to one hour. Bill C17 changes that to 1.5 hours for every hour worked, but construction is exempt from this provision of C17 because the current regulation remains in force.”

In addition to extending maternity benefits and guaranteeing job protection for new unpaid leaves, the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act would raise the minimum working age to 13 and introduce stronger enforcement, including administrative penalties when warranted for contraventions to the Employment Standards Code.

The bill would introduce access to first contract arbitration to assist parties in successful bargaining and improved dispute resolution methods under the Labour Relations Code. It would also simplify union certification and decertification processes, which has received mixed reviews from several construction and labour stakeholders, the Journal of Commerce has reported.

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