Bill 17 – Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act

Alberta’s new Employment Standards Code came into effect Jan. 1, 2018. Products and services are available to help employers and employees learn the new rules:


Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN E.D. Communication With Rae-ann Lajeun January 16, 2018

ALIGN Impacts of Bill 17 Jan 2018 – revised-1 known and anticipated impacts for Child and Family Service agencies

.    As we discussed before most folks are in agreement that the Bill makes sense and is good for Albertans generally,  but there has been some unintended consequences for our sector.  There are some questions in this document that hopefully Labor can answer.  I have to say I keep hearing that people call one time and get and answer then call again for clarity and get a different answer so it has been extremely frustrating.  If they can provide answers to some of these questions it would be helpful.

To answer your earlier questions

  1. We have not heard issues with minimum wage – I have only heard from woods homes as its an issue for their driving program.  We will have compression issues down the road but hopefully by then contracts will have added compensation.  This is also not the case for disability services, they do have minimum wage concerns.
  2. The averaging agreements really don’t help with the overtime debt.  Because the agreements require a schedule and in Family Support there is no schedules or they cannot be open/broad enough and in a 24/7operation it will remain a need.  Therefore there  needs to be compensation in the contracts  some how, it is our hope that Children Services is figuring this into the budget and renewals of contracts:
  3. Compensation for holiday pay needs to be added to the contracts as there is no way to avoid those costs and the agencies don’t have it in their current contracts and that I will send examples separately.

Thanks for helping to make this a workable solution.  We look forward to our meeting on Thursday.

Bill 17 Update and Request for Member Input from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough  January 5, 2018
Happy New Year.  As you can see by the note below Bruce and I will be meeting with the Ministry of Children Services and Ministry of ‘Labor on January 18th. I have been asked to capture any and all details that are at issue to forward them in advance to the Ministry of Labor.  As you can see by Rae- Ann’s note I have already made some suggestions early.  Can you please respond to me by the end of next week,
January 12 if you have any points to make about the following.  Please note this is relating to Children Services not FSCD.  If you are an FSCD agency please send your information along as well and I will send it on to that ministry as I have been talking to them as well. Especially the minimum wage issues.
Thank you everyone for your patience.  We are trying to work diligently with the different Ministries to resolve some of the issues and possibly get some funding into the system to address the OT issues.  I need as clear information as possible and within this next week.  P{lease send your ocmments to my email at RhondaB@alignab.ca As mentioned before the break, we have arranged for a meeting on January 18th from 11:00-12:00, 12th floor boardroom at Sterling Place; a couple of the staff from Alberta Labour who were involved in the drafting of Bill 17 will be at the meeting and our hope is that they will be able to answer any of the outstanding questions.  This meeting will also be an opportunity to highlight other potential solutions that may address some of the concerns raised by your agencies.Before then, though, we are also trying to quantify the dollar impacts of recent government policy changes, and have 2 requests along those lines that I am hoping you might be able to provide us some clarifying info on, before the end of next week if possible (recognizing you are on holidays!):1)      I am wondering if you are able to confirm the total OT impacts with new averaging provisions for your agencies.   I know you provided us with an analysis several weeks ago, but this was before the new provisions were known and I wasn’t sure if the document you provided me was the total for all of your agencies, or a sampling of them. Although you indicated that the new provisions don’t address some of the concerns you have, it wasn’t clear if they indeed give your agencies any relief from the OT impacts.I am mindful that the full impact will not be known until there is a more in-depth conversation with Alberta Labour regarding the family support and outreach workers but we would appreciate any analysis you can do on this in the meantime.2)      We would also appreciate confirmation that the minimum wage expectations set out in Bill 17 will not create additional pressure for your agencies. I know you said this was not a significant concern, but if there are anticipated impacts that you feel you want to clarify, this will be helpful for us.Finally, in order for the staff from Alberta Labour to be prepared for this meeting, I will provide them with a recap of the impacts/suggestions previously identified by ALIGN – recap below.

  1. Currently for Health there is a coordinated homecare regulation that allows flexibility for staff who work in home and have to be available for their clients.  If this type of regulation could include Children Services so family support/ outreach workers could be considered like homecare workers then that would  alleviate the flexible schedule and what will become a decrease of services for families because under the Bill 17 rules, agencies will not be able to meet all family needs if they go over the allocated hours allowed to be worked.

One agency is doing the following: I’ve given my  CSD staff a daily window to work within and flex their time accordingly. For example they can work anywhere between 8 am and 8 pm (the schedule) but not exceed the labor standards of 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and 144 hours over a 4 week period.  This still limits the family when they may truly need the staff but it’s what the agency can do.  The risk is the family doesn’t get what they need.  The actual hours are set between the staff and the families/individual, they are not on a fixed schedule as we can’t dictate when the families are available. We work with many families/individuals who cannot meet during regular business hours.

  1.  Under  Bill 17 there is a section 74 that allows for schedules and agreements.  Possibly ALIGN as an association could get a variance for group care/ 24 hour operations.  What is not clear is what if you are not a member of ALIGN, how does that actually work?
  2. The costs of the statutory holidays are also quite significant.  All wage employees, regardless if they work or normally would have worked on the Stat are eligible for a cash payment after each Stat holiday; the cash payment is 5% of their earnings in the four weeks prior to the Stat.   Many agencies have casual or part time employees who did not receive this before and this is significant for some agencies.

If there are additional items that should brought to the attention of Alberta Labour prior to the meeting, please drop me a line and we will forward the information

Compliance Bulletin – Employment Standards Code Changes in Alberta In Easy to Understand Language Posted January 8, 2018
Welcome to 2018 and Alberta’s revised Employment Standards! As you’re aware, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17) came into effect on January 1, 2018.  I thought you might appreciate a document that highlights the changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards in easy to understand language.   Feel free to share this with anyone that you think may benefit from the information
Kathy Anders CAIB, CRM | Account Executive Foster Park Brokers

CCVO Know the Code: Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Coming January 1 Dec 6, 2017
The updated Employment Standards Code comes into effect on January 1, 2018. As these changes are the first overhaul of the Code since 1988, updating organizational policies and practices have become an area of deliberate attention for nonprofit organizations that employ staff. Both nonprofit employers and employees will be significantly impacted by the changes. As an employer, you need to be aware of changes and update organizational policies and practices in accordance with the Code. The Employment Standards Code currently impacts the nonprofit sector more than the Labour Relations Code does and remains the focus of our work. Here are some of the most significant areas of change in the updated Code:…

Bill 17 Update from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough December 20, 2017
Dear ALIGN Members

Please review the information (see below) I received this morning (Dec 20, 2017) regarding Bill 17.Please send me any implication you see so that I can provide that information to the Ministry.

Rhonda Barraclough, ALIGN Association E.D.rhondab@alignab.ca

INFORMATION PERTAINING TO BILL 17 DECEMBER 20, 2017

As discussed, the Bill 17 draft regulations have been modified to include flexible work week provisions; hours of work can now be extended up to a maximum of two weeks.  Below is an example for your reference:

Example: Flexible Averaging Agreement – 10 hour daily overtime threshold, 2 week averaging period

In this example, the daily overtime threshold specified in the agreement is 10 hours per work day.

Scheduling Requirements:

ü  No more than 12 hours per day is scheduled and no more than an average of 44 hours per week is scheduled.

ü  All work days and the number of hours to be worked on each of those work days are identified in the schedule.

Overtime Requirements:|

ü  If the employee is asked or chooses to work longer daily hours, daily overtime could be payable where hours of work exceed 10 per work day.

ü  If the employee is asked or chooses to work more hours in the averaging period, averaging period overtime could be payable at the end of the averaging period for hours in excess of an average of 44 hours.

I hope this info is useful for you to share with the agencies in order for them to recalculate the OT impacts with new averaging provisions.  We would appreciate receiving this information as soon as realistically possible as we hope that the new flexibility will address some of the earlier concerns.

I also wanted to confirm that the minimum wage expectations set out in Bill 17 will not create additional pressure for your agencies. Earlier conversations indicated that this was not a pinch point but wanted to double check.

Thank you for your patience Rhonda and I look forward to receiving an update on the OT implications as well as confirmation of the minimum wage impacts.   I hope you get to enjoy some quality time over the holidays with your family and friends.

 

Updates on Bill 17 and request for ALIGN member agencies to submit banked OT hours and average salary November 2017.
Note: Related submission due by November 24, 2017Bill 17: Alberta’s Fair And Family Friendly Workplaces Act: the new labor code comes into effect January 1, 2018. There are many impacts on your agency and you need to be aware of those. The ALIGN Website has some information and the Ministry of Labor has more. One of largest effects for agencies and specifically anyone who works a 24 hour operation or flexible evening and on call hours will need to consider this:

• You will have to allow employees to take time off in lieu of receiving overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime worked, as opposed to the previous 1 hour for each hour of overtime.
• There are clear guidelines on how much someone can work in a specified period
• New types of unpaid leaves
• Changes to maternity leaves

There are many other changes your need to make sure you are aware for and are planning for.

Financially the biggest area will be the overtime. We are trying to advocate with the Ministries (CS & CSS) that banked time is a substantial cost and that the agencies cannot shoulder that cost. We have encouraged the Ministry to have a plan in place to compensate agencies for overtime and have explained how this is not just as simple as stopping overtime from happening especially in 24 hour operations and that due to contractual obligations they also can’t just increase the costs – therefore we believe there is a need for a compensation plan on the part of the Ministries.

To help paint a picture for the Deputy Minister of Children Services – Darlene Bouwsema, I need as many folks as possible to let us know their current bank overtime hours in a year and what the average salary for those employees is. I am making a graphic to show the Deputy Ministers. Darlene and Shannon Marchand the Deputy Ministry for Community and Support Services are meeting with the Ministry of Labor Deputy Ministry soon. We have also offered to arrange for them to meet with some of the CFO’s from the agencies and the Ministry to discuss impacts further. At this point we do not know if or when there may be answers. We would like to be able to send a further sample of the overtime impacts at this time because we can at least quantify that number.

ALIGN Members – Procurement Update November 20, 2017

Late last week there was an announcement that Campus Based Residential Care will be tendered shortly.  For those of you who provide that service please stay tuned as I am sure you will receive information soon.

I am told that there has been a procurement plan (5 year) placed before the Minister and at this point there is no permission to move forward with anything other than this one area.  I am aware that most of you have contracts that are set to expire on March 31, 2018.

The likelihood is that most of your contracts will be renewed at the same rates.  Some may be able to re-negotiate some terms but for the most part status quo may be the outcome.  I realize that this means no increases in any part of your operation for a long time.

Budget 2018 may not see any changes or increases.  We already have a hint of that with no increases to foster care rates.

As always we will continue to advocate for a plan and for hopeful injections to the wages if nothing else.  We need to have some clear information and in reality you need to be thinking about this already.  If you have NO increases to your contracts and you are aware of the Bill 17 impacts, what will you do in the new fiscal year- i.e.  Do you need to close beds, close programs, are you ok, decrease services and if so what?  It would be very helpful if you can let me know what you think you will need to do if there are no changes of any kind.

I would appreciate if you can let me know what you think will happen and if you have any other impacts starting to creep in, like increasing turnover rates, etc.   This information is very helpful as we strategize a plan to move forward.  If we can we will also make the information available to you so that you can go out and advocate on your or your sectors behalf as we suspect there will be a need for political action.  It is the politicians who are stopping things as treasury board.

Again we are trying to give concrete examples of the impacts of no procurement (negotiations or tenders) and Bill 17.  I need to have that picture from you to share at table with the Ministry officials and the politicians.

Thanks for sharing I look forward to your information and trying to see what we can do to move the financial pendulum.  If you could send me your story or information by November 30 I would appreciate it.

Rhonda Barraclough – ALIGN Executive Director RhondaB@alignab.ca


Correspondence from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough November 10, 2017 Re: Bill 17

By now you are fully aware that as of January 1, 2018 Bill 17 will come into effect.  The new Labor Standards will have an impact on all of you.

Thank you to those of you who were able to figure out your banked time .  We have been able to send that information  to the ministry as an example of the costs that you will incur.  The Deputy Ministers from Children Services and Community and Support Services are meeting with the Ministry of Labor soon.  We hope to hear from them about the issues soon.

I encourage you to make sure you are fully aware of the expectations of the new legislation and prepare for how it will affect your organization.  There are some strict rules about overtime and scheduling time that need to be adhered to and in some cases you will need to make new agreements with your staff, or  you may have to restrict staff flex time and you need to pay out overtime at a higher rate.

I encourage you to review the new legislation and ask questions to the Ministry of Labor.  If there is anything else we can do let me know.  I will keep you up dated as we hear more.

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