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Fired in Alberta: Employment Standards and the Common Law

Alberta's employment is confusing to employees because our employment system has two parts two it. The first is the Employment Standards Code; the second is the common law.

Most employees are somewhat aware of Employment Standards, but most are not aware of the common law amounts. Common law amounts are generally much higher than the Employment Standards Code amounts.


The Employment Standards Code is a law passed by the Alberta Government that sets out, among other things, statutory minimums that people should be paid when fired. Basically it is the bare minimum you should get if terminated as decided by the government.


The Employment Standards minimums are the following in Alberta:

For employment of more than 90 days, but less than 2 years the notice period is 1 week's pay.

For employment of 2 years but less than 4 years the notice period is 2 weeks's pay.

For employment of 4 years but less than 6 years the notice period is 4 week's pay.

For employment of 6 years but less than 8 years, the notice period is 5 week's pay.

For employment of 8 years but less than 10 years, the notice period is 6 week's pay.

For employment of 10 years or more, the notice period is 8 week's pay.


Employment standards amounts can be enforced against employers directly. For more information contact employment standards: https://www.alberta.ca/file-employment-standards-complaint.aspx.


Many people have heard of the phrase "common law" in the context of marital law. People tend not to know that the common law is broader than that. The common law is basically our system of judge-made law, which developed out of the English legal system. The common law is essentially judge-made law. As mentioned above, common law amounts tend to be much higher


than Employment Standards amounts (and usually they include those amounts within the overall award of a common law court decision). To learn how severance is calculated please see our article here: https://www.flodenward.com/post/how-is-severance-calculated-in-alberta.


If you have been terminated please feel free to contact us: https://www.flodenward.com/contact-us.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.




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