Recruitment Advice – Back to School: Employing Students in Alberta

  • Recruitment/HR
Back to School: Employing Students in Alberta
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

Now that school is in session, Alberta business owners should be aware of how this will impact their employment of students. The academic term and work hours affect the minimum wage student workers are entitled to. Additionally, they are subject to special rules based on their age and type of work they are doing. However, students are entitled to the same minimum standards of employment as other workers, including overtime pay, vacation time and statutory holidays.

Employers should be especially careful when employing young workers as they are most susceptible to workplace injury. Hazards assessments must be carried out in accordance with Employment Standards and Occupational Health and Safety legislation.


As of January 1, 2019, workers aged 12 and under are governed by a specific set of rules. They may be employed, with restrictions, only in artistic endeavours and only with a permit and parental consent.

Students aged 14 and under can do select work without a permit but must always obtain parental consent. Additionally, they cannot work between 9pm and 6am or during school hours (off-campus education programs are excepted) and can only work a maximum of 2 hours on school days and 8 hours on non-school days.

Employees over the age of 15 may do any type of work without a permit, however, they cannot work during school hours. If they work in retail or hospitality, they must have adult supervision if they work 9pm to 12am and cannot work 12am to 6am. If they work in other industries, they can work between 12am and 6am but they must have adult supervision and parental consent.


These rules only apply to students who are true employees. They do not apply to contractors, volunteers, to those who are self-employed or that are doing farm or ranch work. Different rules exist for students in approved training courses and integrated learning programs.

Student Wage Rates

On June 26, 2019 the Employment Standards (Minimum Wage) Amendment Regulation brought down the student minimum wage to $13.00 per hour. This wage applies to secondary and post-secondary students who work school breaks and is the minimum rate for the first 28 hours of work during a school week. Over 28 hours, employers must pay the general minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

Need further clarification for your industry?

There are certain restrictions to the types of work students can do based on their age and some types are not regulated the Employment Standards Code. Our advisors can give you specific information that is applicable to your business. Additionally, the recent changes made by Bill 2, An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business impact overtime and holiday pay. Contact us to find out more: 1 (833) 247-3652

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