Update Bill 32: Amendments to Alberta's Labour and Employment Legislative Regime

Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta's Workplaces Act, 2020 has now received Royal Assent.

The legislation made significant changes to both the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code, as well as other related Acts.  A summary of the changes can be found here.

Now that the legislation has received Royal Assent, it is important to take note of the different dates on which the changes take effect:
  • The majority of the changes to the Employment Standards Code come into effect on November 1, 2020. 
  • Changes relating to group terminations, temporary layoffs, as well as variances and exemptions come into effect on August 15, 2020. 
  • Existing hours of work averaging agreements will remain valid until the earliest of (1) the day they were to terminate under the Employment Standards Code; (2) the day they are cancelled by a party to the agreement or the Director; or (3) the day a subsequent collective agreement is entered into if an agreement was part of a collective agreement.  Either party to an averaging agreement may cancel an existing averaging agreement by giving 30 days' notice to the other party.
  • Changes to the Labour Relations Code affecting binding arbitrations between academic staff associations and public post-secondary institutions came into effect on upon first reading, which was July 7th, 2020. 
  • Generally speaking, where matters before the Alberta Labour Relations Board, an arbitrator or arbitration board, or related to a secondary picketing premise had been initiated but not resolved before the coming into force of Bill 32, amendments to the Labour Relations Codedo not apply to those matters. The previous iterations of the Labour Relations Codecontinue to apply to those matters. 
  • Changes requiring that trade unions provide financial statements to their members, that union members opt-in to paying dues for "political activities and other causes", relating to "raids" and revocations during open periods, relating to secondary picketing, concerning the Alberta Labour Relations Board review of awards, and amendments specific to the construction industry come into force on Proclamation.
  • The remaining amendments to the Labour Relations Code have now come into effect as of Royal Assent being granted on July 29, 2020. 
  • Amendments to the Police Officers Collective Bargaining ActPost-secondary Learning ActPublic Education Collective Bargaining Act, and Public Service Employee Relations Act come into force on Proclamation.
A link to the full contents of Bill 32 can be found here.

Neuman Thompson will continue to provide you with updated information as it becomes available.  For further information or assistance, do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.


The information in this update is intended as general information and should not relied on as legal advice.