Alberta Employee Vacation & Stat Holiday Entitlement is the third post in The Payroll Edge’s series “Employee Vacation & Stat Holiday Entitlement” where we outline Canadian employment compliance standards by province to assist you in hiring a Canadian worker.
American or foreign companies paying Canadians take note: Canadian statutory holidays are paid holidays. As a PEO in Canada, we’re often asked about whether there is stat and vacation pay differences between provinces. Every province has different holidays and qualification rules around paying the employee for the time off. These rules apply to part time, full time, hourly or salaried employees.
Public paid holidays and minimum vacation requirements are set out by the “Employment Standards Code of Alberta”.
There are nine public holidays in the Canadian province of Alberta:
- New Year’s Day on January 1st
- Family Day on the third Monday in February
- Good Friday or Easter Monday
- Victoria Day on the Monday preceding May 25th
- Canada Day on July 1st
- Labour Day on the first Monday in September
- Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October
- Remembrance Day on November 11th
- Christmas Day on December 25th
Exemptions to Public Holiday Pay Entitlement:
There are numerous rules affecting Canadian employees’ eligibility within the province of Alberta. For instance, in Ontario, Canadian workers are entitled to public holiday pay from day one. Meanwhile, an employee in Alberta must have worked for the employer for at least 30 working days in the 12 months before the statutory holiday to be paid for it.
Vacation Pay and Entitlement in Alberta
Minimum vacation time Canadian workers are entitled to in Alberta is as follows;
Two weeks’ vacation time for every 12 months worked for the first four years. After five years of continuous employment at one employer, vacation time increases to three weeks annually. Employers can choose to have the employee work for 12 months before granting vacation time but can also choose to allow the worker to take vacation time any time after the employment has begun.
Vacation pay amounts to 4% of wages for the first four years of consecutive employment at the same employer and then 6% of wages after that. Employers can choose to pay our vacation pay with every paycheque or to pay out the applicable amount right before the vacation time is taken.
Let’s get clear on what “wages” to include when calculating vacation pay before you bring out your calculator. In the province of Alberta there is fewer pay types included and considered as “wages” than most other provinces. To calculate the 4 or 6 % of the previous year’s wages; include regular earnings and commissions. Do NOT include; public holiday pay, overtime pay, bonuses or tips and gratuities.
Note that employees are entitled to both Vacation Time and Vacation Pay.
Please note Alberta employees working in the construction industry have varied employment rules due to the nature of the industry. Refer to Work Alberta’s website or information on employment standards for the construction industry.
There are other industries and jobs that have exceptions to the above rules. Please visit www.work.alberta.ca for further information on Alberta’s Employment Standards rules.
View the province of Alberta’s Vacations and Vacation Pay Factsheet here.
It can be confusing for American and foreign based firms to learn and comply with Canada’s stringent employment laws that often vary by province or territory. We are a Canadian based Employer of Record service provider similar to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Our services include payroll processing for local, American and foreign employers who opt to have us as the “Employer of Record” for their Canadian workers. If you’re thinking of hiring a Canadian worker, contact us before you establish the numerous Government of Canada accounts to begin payroll processing.
View our services page for more information on our Professional Employer Organization PEO and Employer of Record EOR services.