If you`re working in Alberta, chances are you are familiar with the Employment Standards Code, which outlines the general minimum standards for employment that protect both employees and employers. One of the most important aspects of the Employment Standards Code is the Hours of Work provision, which sets out the maximum hours an employer can require an employee to work in a day or week.
However, in some cases, an employee may want to work more hours in a week or less in another week, which is where the Averaging Agreement comes into play. An Averaging Agreement allows an employee and employer to agree to vary the maximum hours of work over a period of one, two, or four weeks. This agreement can be useful to employers who require increased hours during peak periods, or to employees who may want more flexibility in their work schedule.
In order for an Averaging Agreement to be valid, it must meet certain requirements set out by the Employment Standards Code. First and foremost, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both the employer and employee. The agreement must also specify the start and end dates of the averaging period, the maximum number of hours of work that will be averaged over the period, and the regular rate of pay for all hours worked.
The agreement must also include a provision for time off in lieu of overtime pay. This means that if an employee works more than the maximum hours set out in the agreement, they will be entitled to time off with pay at a rate of at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for each hour worked over the maximum. The employee must take this time off within three months of the end of the averaging period, unless the employer and employee agree otherwise.
It is important to note that an Averaging Agreement cannot take away an employee`s right to overtime pay, vacation pay, or other entitlements under the Employment Standards Code. Additionally, an employee cannot be forced to agree to an averaging agreement, and they can cancel the agreement at any time with written notice to the employer.
In conclusion, the Hours of Work provision in the Employment Standards Code is an important protection for employees, but the Averaging Agreement can provide flexibility for both employees and employers. If you are considering an averaging agreement, it is important to ensure that it meets all the requirements set out in the Employment Standards Code and that both parties understand their rights and responsibilities under the agreement.