Further changes to the Alberta Labour Relations Code now in effect

February 16, 2021 | Stephen M. Torscher

Further amendments to the Labour Relations Code are now in force.

Bill 32, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020, received royal assent on July 29, 2020. Many of the amendments to the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code came into effect on that day, but others were not scheduled to come into force until proclamation.

On February 10, 2021, the Lieutenant Governor in Council issued O.C. 43/2021, bringing further changes to the Labour Relations Code into force and effect. These changes include:

  • collective agreements may be renewed prior to their expiration;
  • the window for an application for revocation has been changed to coordinate with early renewal of a collective agreement;
  • permission from the Alberta Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) is now required prior to engaging in secondary picketing;
  • the statutory standard of review for the review of arbitration awards has been removed and the Board has the explicit power to grant costs in such reviews;
  • construction and maintenance bargaining rights have been altered to allow both all-employee and trade-specific bargaining units; and
  • project agreements in the construction industry negotiated by the Building Trades of Alberta limited in time and to a specific project are now permissible.

Miller Thomson’s Labour and Employment Team has written in the past on other changes implemented by Bill 32, which can be accessed below:

Bill 32: Alberta’s proposed Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act

Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act passed

We would be pleased to discuss these latest changes and the impact that they could have on your business.


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