Employers must ensure that their employees in Alberta receive at least the minimum wage rates set out in section 9 of the Employment Standards Regulation (the "Regulation").  During its 2015 provincial election campaign, the Alberta New Democratic Party ("NDP") made an election promise that it would increase minimum wage rates in Alberta to $15.00 per hour.  After its success in the election, the NDP got to work on taking the first step towards a $15.00 minimum wage rate.  Employers with employees in Alberta must prepare for the imminent increases to the minimum wage rate.

On August 21, 2015, Order in Council 187/2015 was approved, increasing the minimum wage amounts set out in the Regulation.  The new wage rates come into effect on October 1, 2015.

At present, the basic minimum wage rate is $10.20 per hour.  As of October 1, 2015, the basic minimum wage rate will be increased to $11.20 per hour.  For those employees who serve liquor, the new minimum wage rate will be $10.70 per hour, rather than $9.20 per hour.  Employees engaged in direct selling businesses, certain salespersons, land agents and all employees listed in section 2(2) of the Regulation must receive at least $446 per week, rather than $406 per week.

For those engaged in domestic employment, such as nannies, the minimum salary is $2,127.00 per month, up from $1,937.00 per month.

As always, for employers whose employees are paid in whole or in part by commission, such employees must also receive commission payments in an amount that equals at least minimum wage.  In addition, pursuant to the Canada Labour Code, federally regulated employers operating in Alberta must also ensure compliance with these changes.

Based upon the election promises of the NDP, employers can expect further increases in the next few years.