Bill 32 – The Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020, is a piece of legislation that has caused a lot of discussion in recent times. One particular area that has raised concerns is the use of averaging agreements in the province. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what Bill 32 averaging agreements are and how they could affect you.
What is an Averaging Agreement?
Averaging agreements are currently used by some employers and employees in Alberta, under certain circumstances, to average work hours over a specified period. This means that employees may work more than eight hours on some days or weeks and fewer than eight hours on others, but their hours will be averaged over a fixed period, typically one or more weeks.
Currently, averaging agreements can be made for a period of up to four weeks, and they require employees to be paid overtime pay for any hours worked beyond eight hours per day or 44 hours per week. However, under Bill 32, that could be extended to a period of up to 52 weeks.
What are the Changes Under Bill 32?
Bill 32 proposes several changes to the current averaging agreement system. One of the most significant changes is the period of time for which averaging agreements can be made. As mentioned, currently, the maximum period is four weeks. Under Bill 32, that period could be extended to up to 52 weeks.
Another change proposed in Bill 32 is the removal of overtime pay for hours worked beyond eight hours per day or 44 hours per week. Instead, employees will be entitled to their regular pay rate for all hours worked. Employers would still need to provide time off in lieu for any overtime hours worked, but employees could agree to take this time at a later date.
The intention behind these changes is to give employers and employees more flexibility in managing work hours. Employers may have more predictable and stable labour costs over a longer period, while employees could have greater control over their work schedules. However, critics of the changes argue that they could result in employees working longer hours and receiving lower pay.
What Does This Mean for Employers and Employees?
The proposed changes to averaging agreements under Bill 32 won’t come into effect until they are passed into law and implemented. If that happens, the changes could have a significant impact on how employers and employees manage work schedules.
Employers who currently use averaging agreements may need to adjust their practices and policies to align with the proposed changes. Employees may need to be informed of these changes and provided with the necessary training and support to ensure they understand their rights and obligations.
In conclusion, Bill 32 averaging agreements are a significant development in Alberta’s workplace regulations. While the proposed changes could offer greater flexibility and predictability for employers and employees, they also raise concerns about workers’ rights and protections. As such, it will be important for all parties to pay close attention to the progress of Bill 32 and its implementation.