Getting Paid

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Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is one of the basic labour standards in Canada. It sets the lowest wage rate that an employer can pay employees law to perform their work. With only a few exceptions, an employer cannot pay less than the minimum wage in Alberta.

General minimum wage is $9.75. On September 1, 2013 the minimum wage will go up by 2.1 per cent to $9.95 – still the lowest in Canada.

Liquor servers can be paid as little as $9.05. the stated policy of the government is that the liquor-server wage will be frozen until there’s a $1 per hour difference; it will then go up in sync with the general minimum wage.

For some salespeople and professionals, the minimum wage is $389 per week. This includes:

  • employees of direct sellers who are 16 years and older;
  • salespersons working mainly away from the employer's premises who solicits orders for later delivery;
  • an automobile, truck, recreational vehicle or bus salesperson;
  • manufactured home salespersons;
  • farm machinery salespersons;
  • heavy duty construction equipment salesperson;
  • residential home salesperson employed by a person who builds those homes;
  • licensed land agents;
  • professions such as architects, engineers, lawyers, psychologists and information systems professionals.

A domestic employee who lives, or lives primarily, in the employer's home is entitled to wages of at least $1,854 per month. Domestic employees who do not live at the employers' residence are entitled to at least $9.75 an hour.

The Alberta minimum wage laws cover all employees in the province except:

  • municipal police officers covered under the Police Act;
  • farm or ranch employee whose work involves the production of eggs, milk, grain, seeds, fruit, vegetables, honey, livestock, game-production animals, poultry or bees or other primary agricultural operation.

There is no separate youth or student minimum wage.

Deductions

Employers are generally not allowed to deduct from the earnings of an employee, except for things like taxes, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance.

An employer is allowed to deduct from the earnings of an employee a sum of money that is:

  • permitted or required to be deducted by an enactment or a judgment or order of a court;
  • authorized to be deducted by a collective agreement that is binding on the employee; or
  • personally authorized in writing by the employee to be deducted.

Under no circumstances, including the reasons listed above, can an employer deduct from earnings for:

  • faulty workmanship;
  • cash shortages or loss of property unless the employee is the only person who had access to the cash or property.

Minimum Pay for Hours of Work

If you are scheduled to work and come to work, an employer cannot pay you for less than 3 hours of work.

For example, if you are scheduled to work an 8 hour shift and get sent home after 1 hour because it is a slow day, you are still entitled to pay for 3 hours of work.