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How many hours is full-time in Alberta?

Full-Time in Alberta
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Want to know what Alberta’s normal and allowable working hours are? You’re on the right page, as here, we’ll go over the details of the working hours and rest period rules specified by the Employment Standards of Alberta. 

How many hours is full-time in Alberta?

Generally, 30 hours or more is considered a full-time work hour in Alberta and most provinces in Canada. 

However, this is not legally set in stone, so employers and employees can still negotiate the definition of full-time hours in their employment agreement. 

What are the average working hours in Alberta? 

According to Statistics Canada, the average usual hours worked and average actual hours worked per week in Alberta are as follows:

Type of WorkAverage Hours Worked in a Week (2022)
Average Usual Hours WorkedFull-time Employment41.3 hours
Part-time Employment18.4 hours
Average Actual Hours WorkedFull-time Employment40.8 hours
Full-time Employment19.2 hours

The average usual hours worked pertain to the worked hours that include breaks or rest periods. 

On the other hand, the average actual hours worked is the amount of time a worker rendered for work minus the break or rest period.

Is there a limit on the number of hours that an employee in Alberta can work? 

In Alberta, there is a limit on the number of hours an employee can render for work. 

Under Alberta’s Employment Standards Code, an employee can only work up to 12 hours a day. 

The only exception to this limit is if the employer and employee have a collective agreement that says otherwise.

Note that anything above the maximum hours specified is considered illegal unless on an emergency basis, such as accidents as well as unforeseeable or unpreventable events.

Can an employer in Alberta let an employee work a split or double shift? 

In Alberta, an employer can ask an employee to work a split or double shift. This is only under the following circumstances:

  • An accident occurs, or urgent work is needed
  • The Director of Employment Standards authorizes the employer to increase work hours up to 6 hours per day
  • Other unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances occur

What are the rules set by the Employment Standards of Alberta when working a split or double shift? 

Here are the rules that should be followed for employees working a split or double shift.

  • The working hours must fall within a 12-hour work period. For example, 8 AM to 8 PM shift or 7 AM to 7 PM. 
  • The employee must get at least eight hours of rest between each shift. Note that a split or double shift is considered one regular shift.
  • There should be more than one hour of break time between the two segments of the shift. 
  • The employee must be paid at least the minimum amount required for each segment of the shift. Besides that, overtime work during a split or double shift must also be compensated. 

Can an employee have a compressed work week? 

A compressed work week is not allowed in Alberta right now, with only one exception. 

The exception to this is if a compressed work week is part of the collective agreement that was signed by the employer and employee before the rule amendment in January 2018.

Can an employer in Alberta make their employee work during weekends? 

An employer in Alberta can make employees work on weekends. 

You see, even if employees must have at least one day of rest per work week, it’s not specifically stated which days are for rest periods.

That’s why, if you don’t want to work on a weekend, sift through the job requirements and make sure that it’s not part of the agreement.

Can an employer send an employee home if there is no work left for the day? 

Generally, employers in Alberta can send their employees home early if work is done or if there isn’t enough work for that day.

Employees will only be compensated for the hours they’ve worked that day. However, in some cases, employers opt to pay their employees for a full shift despite finishing early.

What are the daily rest periods of employees in Alberta? 

What are the daily rest periods of employees in Alberta
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The daily rest period for employees in Alberta is at least 30 minutes or two 15-minute breaks for shifts that are 5 and 10 hours long. If the shift is longer than 10 hours, the employee must have at least two 30-minute breaks. 

On the flip side, an employee is not entitled to any break or rest period if their shift is less than five hours. 

It’s best to remember that a break or rest period can be paid or unpaid depending on the employer’s discretion. Nonetheless, if the employer places restrictions on an employee’s activities during their break, then it must be considered a paid break. 

How many rest days can an employee in Alberta get?

Employees in Alberta are entitled to at least one day of rest per week.

That means if you work for two consecutive weeks, you should have at least two rest days. Consequently, in a period of four consecutive work weeks or one month, you are entitled to at least four rest days. 

However, this rule does not apply to employees under a collective agreement with different rest days. 

Besides that, special rules may also apply to those working in the trucking industry. This is because employees in this industry should have at least eight hours of rest after completing a shift.

Which employees are exempted from the working hour rules set by the Employment Standards of Alberta? 

Listed below are the employees exempted from Alberta’s Employment Standards rules on work hours, rest periods, and overtime.