Currently in Alberta, employees are entitled to leaves of absence after 1 year in accordance with the Employment Standards Code, unless your workplace applies a shorter timeline.
However, effective January 1, 2018, that minimum qualifying period will be reduced to 90 days.
As a result, please review your policies to ensure they meet the new minimum requirements and are updated prior to the new year.
It is also a good idea to think about whether you want to voluntarily implement the new deadlines early, whether you will update your staff regarding your changes (this can avoid confusion and foster a happy workplace culture), whether your collective agreement (if any) and template employment contracts need to be aligned, and how you will deal with applications for leaves around the time of the transition.
Thinking through these issues in advance will help your workplace prepare for a smooth transition.
Alberta’s workplaces have evolved since the Employment Standards Code was last updated in 1988, including growth in part-time jobs, shift work and flexible schedules.