Young workers in Alberta, including students working during summer break, are covered by the Employment Standards Code (ESC). Employers must comply with the Code in addition to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation. This entails protecting young employees from workplace hazards and providing them with their minimum employee entitlements. Here’s what employers should know about their obligations and the age and work hours restrictions for employing students in the summer.
Employer Obligations For Student Employees
Like other workers, student employees are entitled to Alberta employment standards such as the minimum wage, statutory holiday pay, and vacations. It is an employer’s responsibility to provide employees with their entitlements, regardless of their age. In the workplace, young workers are the most at risk. They may not have any work experience and may be hesitant to ask questions. Employers must provide additional training and encourage them to seek clarification. Employers must also educate their students workers on potential hazards in the workplace, the procedures to mitigate risk and provide supervision.
Students age 12 and under may only work as part of an artistic endeavour. Employers will require the consent of a parent or guardian and a youth employment permit, which will determine their work hours. Students age 13 and 14 may be employed with or without a permit. Certain duties in retail and delivery may be done without a permit. Certain work in the food services industry is also permitted with a Director’s Approval of Occupation. For any other work, including artistic endeavours, employers must attain a permit from Alberta Employment Standards. Students age 15 to 17 may work any job without a permit. Parent and guardian consent is only needed for work during restricted times.
Work Hours and Restrictions
Students age 13 and 14 may not work between 9 pm and 6am, during school hours (unless they receive off-campus education), may only work a maximum of 2 hours per day on school days and may work a maximum of 8 hours on non-school days. They may not do work that uses potentially dangerous equipment such as grills, fryers or slicers, or work near moving vehicles or where smoking is allowed. In any work they do, they must have ongoing adult supervision. Students age 15 cannot be employed during school hours unless they are receiving off-campus education. Students age 15 to 17 working in hospitality or retail from 9 pm to 12 am require adult supervision and may not work between 12 am and 6 am. They may do other work during these hours but they must have adult supervision.
Student Minimum Wage in Alberta
Currently, the student minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour. This applies to anybody under the age of 18 and the wage may be subject to change soon.
Need clarification on work restrictions for student employees?
We help employers understand how to correctly employ students in the summer. Call our HR advisors to learn how Occupation Health and Safety legislation and Alberta Employment Standards apply to young workers: 1-833-247-3652.