Youth Employment Standards

Click here for current Alberta Youth Employment Laws FAQs.

May, 2018 – With the ringing in of the New Year, many long-anticipated changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code have taken effect. The Job Safety Skills Society would like to take this opportunity to outline the soon-to-be-imposed (as of May 1, 2018) changes to youth employment laws. While no changes have officially been made yet, they will come into effect after Alberta’s Ministry of Labour wraps consultations regarding what constitutes light work jobs and hazardous work. Impending changes are as follows:

Youth Ages 12 and Under

  • Youth under the age of 12 will be prohibited from official employment (i.e. working as waged/salaried and government taxed employees); however, they will continue to be permitted to undertake artistic endeavours, so long as they are working according to the conditions of a permit issued by the employer to the Director of Employment Standards.
  • Hours of work restrictions will be determined during an approval process:
  • If school is actively in session, youth under the age of 13 cannot work later than 9:00 p.m. on a weeknight and 11:00 p.m. if the next day is a weekend day.

Youth Ages 13 to 15

  • Youth aged 13 to 15 years old can undertake any job that is considered “light work,” as well as artistic endeavours, and any other type of work authorized under a permit issued by the Director of Employment Standards (so long as it is not considered hazardous and the work permit includes consent of a parent, guardian or other person who has the lawful care, custody or control of the youth seeking employment).
  • Youth within this age group cannot be employed during their school hours unless they are participating in an off-campus educational program.
  • Youth aged 15 and under cannot work between 12:01 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Youth Ages 16 to 17

  • Youth aged 16 and 17 years old will be eligible to be employed in all types of work so long as it is not deemed hazardous (unless authorized under a permit issued by the Director of Employment Standards or if it’s part of an approved course of study such as a work integrated learning program, like the Registered Apprenticeship Program.

In addition to the impending changes to the province’s youth employment laws, revisions to Alberta’s Employment Standards also effect the following sections of the code:

  • Leave eligibility
  • Compassionate care leave
  • Maternity/parental leave
  • Rest periods
  • Compressed work weeks
  • Deductions
  • Minimum wage
  • Overtime
  • General holiday and general holiday pay
  • Vacations and vacation pay
  • Termination and temporary layoffs

Stay tuned for more information on the finalization of revisions to Alberta’s youth employment laws, coming in May 2018. In the meantime, send us your feedback about the impending changes to youth employment laws. Do you believe the changes will have a positive impact on youth workplace health and safety? Share your questions, comments and concerns on our social media pages. Follow us: @JobSafetySkills, #JobSafe.