Minimum Wage in Alberta 2022

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Are you looking to work in Alberta or want to be sure you’re collecting the provincial minimum wage as an employee? It’s important to know the current minimum wage in Alberta. 

The minimum wage is the lowest amount of money someone can be paid for a certain job. 

The Alberta government sets minimum wage according to job type, age and situation.

How much is the minimum wage in Alberta? In this article, we’ll help you understand what the minimum wage in Alberta is as well as how the amount varies per category.

Let’s get started!


What is Minimum Wage? 

The minimum wage is how much an employee is supposed to legally earn if they work full-time hours per week in a particular location.

Minimum wages are set by governments to protect workers from exploitation and to ensure they earn enough to meet their basic needs. 

They also ensure that employers do not use low wages as a way to avoid paying other benefits like vacation pay, overtime pay and health benefits.

Minimum wage varies based on age, type of work and situation. Employers legally have to pay their employees the minimum wage set by the provincial government.

However, some employers may choose to pay above the minimum wage amount. This is because they believe that paying higher wages leads to higher turnover rates and better productivity from employees.

In some cases, employers may offer employees paid vacation time or other benefits in addition to their wages to help them meet their basic needs.


What is the Current Minimum Wage in Alberta?

In Alberta, the Employment Standards Code sets the minimum wage rates that employers must pay their employees.

The minimum wage applies to all employees who are covered by the Employment Standards Regulation. 

The current minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour. This rate applies to employees who are 18 years of age or older and who are not working on an occasional basis. 

The minimum wage in Alberta was implemented on October 1st, 2018 and has remained so till date.

The table below shows the current minimum wage rates in Alberta according to different categories:

Type of EmployeeMinimum Wage Rates
General minimum wage$15/hour
Students under 18$13/hour (with restrictions)
Domestic employees (living in their employer’s house)$2,848/month
Salespersons$598/week

Weekly Minimum Wage in Alberta 

The general minimum wage in Alberta is $15 per hour, which applies to most employees. 

However, Alberta’s weekly minimum wage applies to employees that are not covered by the Employment Standards Regulation. 

The weekly minimum wage rate is $598 per week. The following are employees that receive the weekly minimum wage in Alberta:

  • Salesperson at manufactured homes
  • Farm machinery salesperson
  • Direct selling salesperson
  • Bus, truck or car salesperson
  • Geoscientists and engineers
  • Residential home salesperson 
  • Road and heavy-duty construction equipment salesperson
  • Information systems experts
  • Salesperson that receives only commission 
  • Land agent
  • Architect
  • Dentist
  • Accountant
  • Chiropractor
  • Lawyer
  • Veterinarian
  • Optometrist
  • Podiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Agrologist

Job Creation Student Wage Rates in Alberta

On June 26, 2019, the Employment Standards Amendment Regulation introduced a new job creation minimum wage for students.

The student job creation wage is applicable to students under 18 years old who are hired after June 26, 2019.

The new students minimum wage rate is $13 per hour. But an employee can pay a student more than the minimum wage amount. 

The new student hourly wage rates apply to all students working at least 28 consecutive hours in a week when schools are still in session.

If a student works more than 28 hours per week, that student is entitled to receive the general minimum wage for the extra hours worked. There are also overtime rules applied to students.

For instance, if a student works 40 hours and earns $13/hour (or $520) during the school session, then that student must be paid $15/hour for each of those additional 12 hours ($180) that exceed the 28-hour limit. The total amount of wages earned for that week would be $700

The student wage rule applies to the following students:

  • Students in vocational or post-secondary schools that are in grade 12
  • If a student is currently employed and earning up to $15 per or more per hour, the employer may cut their pay to as low as $13 per hour, but not lower.
  • The job creation student wage new rules are only applicable to students currently in school. The rules don’t apply to school dropouts.
  • An employer must at all times notify the employee that their compensation will be reduced before the onset of the pay period in which the lower rate will go into effect.

Domestic Employee Wage Rates

Employers must follow the domestic employee wage rules. The following is an overview of the minimum wage rates for domestic employees:

Employers must pay their domestic employees who live with them (e.g maids) a minimum wage that is at least up to $2,848 a month.

But if a domestic employee doesn’t reside in the employer’s house, that employee must be paid the general minimum wage rate of $15 per hour.

The minimum wage for domestic employees who live in their employer’s house is lower than those employees that don’t live with their employer’s house.

This is due to the fact that domestic employees living in employers’ homes enjoy free accommodation and food.

All domestic workers are eligible for the following entitlements:

  • Receiving a certain minimum wage
  • Getting at least one day off every week
  • Paid days of vacation and time off
  • A dismissal notification
  • Leaves that guarantee job retention
  • General holidays with compensation
  • 30 minutes of rest after every five hours of work
  • Details of their earnings and deductions for the pay period

Employees who live in their employer’s house are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Employers can only deduct $4.41 for a night’s lodging and $3.35 for each meal consumed by the employee. No deductions for meals not consumed are permitted
  • It is legal to adjust the minimum wage to account for a domestic employee who agrees to work only a few hours each week
  • No matter how many hours an employee works, they must be paid the complete minimum wage

Domestic employees who don’t reside in their employer’s house are eligible for the following benefits:

  • Employers are not allowed to deduct more than $3.35 per meal given to employees
  • No matter the hours worked, the employee must be paid the minimum wage

The following employment rules do not apply to domestic employees:

  • Working hours restrictions
  • Getting rewarded for extra time

Alberta Minimum Wage and Hours Worked

The current minimum wage in Alberta is $15 an hour, which is the same as the national average and one of the highest rates in Canada.

But there are some things you should know about your right to earn this amount, even if you don’t work full time or for certain hours.

Here is how the minimum wage in Alberta is paid according to the number of hours worked:

3-Hour Minimum

Employers must pay employees for at least three hours of minimum wage when they are required to report to work or for a short time.

The minimum 3-hour requirement does not apply to employees unable to work the entire 3 hours.

It is mandatory for employers to pay employees wages that are at least equal to 3 hours of minimum wage if the employee works less than 3 straight hours.

Employers are allowed to pay employees for less than 3 hours of work if an employee’s normal wage is higher than the minimum wage.

2-hour minimum

At least two hours of wages that is not below the minimum wage amount must be paid to the following employees:

  • School bus drivers
  • Home care workers
  • Employees that work part-time with a community service organization, non-profit organization or an athletic program.
  • Adolescents that work during school days

Minimum Wage Alberta Exempt Occupations

Even though most employees (and employers) must abide by the minimum wage law, there are some exceptions to this rule.

This means that certain employees who work under specific circumstances do not have to be paid the minimum wage. 

The following employees are not covered by the minimum wage rules:

  • Securities salespersons
  • Real estate brokers
  • Academic staff at a Post-secondary schools
  • Students in an Alberta government-approved work experience program
  • Commission-only insurance salespeople
  • Extras in a movie or video shoot
  • Students enrolled in an Education Act-funded education program with venue off-campus
  • Members of the municipal police force
  • Educators at children’s recreational camps, non-profit educational sectors and religious groups

Minimum Wage in Alberta Allowable Deductions

Just as an employer is obligated to pay the minimum wage in Alberta, the employer is also obligated to make certain deductions from the employees wages.

The following are some of the allowable deductions that can be deducted from your pay:

Accomodation and Feeding

Employers can deduct an employee’s pay to less than the minimum wage if the employee gives written permission.

An employer can deduct $4.41 per day from the employee’s pay if the employee lives in the employer’s house.

Uniforms

Uniforms must be provided by the employer if they are required to perform their job duties. 

This means, if an employer requires an employee to wear a uniform, it must be provided free of charge, and the cost can be included in the amount paid to an employee on a pre-tax basis.

RELATED: Minimum Wage in Ontario


FAQs on Minimum Wage in Alberta

What is the minimum wage for a 15 year old in Alberta?

Students in Alberta who are not up to 18 years of age are entitled to a minimum wage of $13.00 per hour. As a result, employers must pay such students that work up to 28 hours per week at least $13 per hour during school days. 
But if a student under 18 works more than 28 hours per week, that student must be paid the general minimum wage of $15 per hour for the extra hours worked.

Are lunch breaks paid in Alberta?

Yes. Employees are eligible for 30 minutes paid break after working for 5 hours. This means that if you are working 10 hours per day, you are eligible for up to two 30 minutes paid breaks. However, if you are working for just 5 hours or below, you are not entitled to a paid break.

How many hours is full-time in Alberta?

A full-time job in Alberta is one in which you work for over 30 hours per week for a specific employer or organization and are paid by that employer or organization.

Can I refuse overtime in Alberta?

Employees are not generally permitted to reject overtime work in Alberta. However, if you sign an overtime agreement, you have the right to refuse overtime. Also, signing an over agreement means you are entitled to receiving extra pay for overtime.


Final Thoughts

The Alberta minimum wage is a legal right for employees in Alberta. It ensures that every worker earns right amount for their labour. It also prevents employers from underpaying their staff. 

The minimum wage in Alberta is $15 and this is applicable to both full time and part time employees.

But as mentioned earlier in this article, the minimum wage of Alberta depends on different job classifications and age. 

However, most employers are required to pay an employee at least the minimum wage and failure to do so will make them liable to charges under the Employment Standards Regulations.

Therefore, whatever your job, if you find yourself being paid less than the legal minimum wage, don’t be afraid to speak up. 

If you have any more questions or comments, please feel free to share them below in the comment section. We will make sure we reply to you as soon as possible.

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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