Alberta Employment Standards Code Changes
/ Author: Carla Brink
/ Categories: Newsletters /
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Alberta Employment Standards Code Changes

Leaves of Absence Highlights

Changes to the Alberta Employment Standards Code (ESC) will come into effect January 1, 2018. Some of these changes may be of interest to you, particularly the leaves of absence updates.

Several new unpaid leaves of absences have been added, including

  • compassionate care,
  • long term illness leave,
  • death or disappearance of a child leave,
  • critical illness of a child leave,
  • domestic violence leave, citizenship ceremony leave, and
  • personal and family responsibility leave (up to five days of unpaid leave per calendar year for your health, or to meet family responsibilities).

In addition, maternity leave is now up to 16 weeks, rather than 15 weeks; parental leave remains at 37 weeks. For more information, please see the Alberta Employment Standards Code.

To apply for one of these leaves or another leave listed in your collective agreement, fill out the applicable leave of absence form, available from your employer. If the leave you are requesting is not listed in your collective agreement, you can apply under the Personal Leave of Absence section and specify the type of leave requested.

Remember, pay is available through employment insurance for some leaves, including maternity and parental, compassionate care (up to 26 weeks), parents of critically ill children (up to 35 weeks), and sickness benefit (up to 15 weeks). The sickness benefit is particularly helpful for those who do not have a short term disability plan. For more details, visit the employment insurance page at

Please feel free to contact your representative for further information.

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