Payroll and Benefits Guide Canada – Alberta

Last updated: Apr 09, 2023

Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Employer Taxes
Payroll Frequency
Employee Costs
Edmonton (State Capital)
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 April - 31 March
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Employer Payroll Contributions


National Pension (applied on salary between 3,500 to 66,600 CAD annually )


Federal Employment insurance (applied on salary up to 61,500 CAD)


Workplace Safety Insurance (applied on salary up to 102,100)


Total Employment Cost


Employee Payroll Contributions


Canada Pension Plan (CPP) (applied on salary between 3,500 to 66,600 CAD annually )


Federal Employment Insurance (EI) (applied on salary up to 61,500 CAD)


Total Employee Cost


Employee Income Tax

Federal, Annual taxable income (CAD)


Up to 53,359.00 CAD


53,359.01 CAD to 106,717.00 CAD


106,717.01 CAD to 165,430.00 CAD


165,430.01 CAD to 235,675.00 CAD


235,675.00 CAD and over

Alberta, Annual taxable income (CAD)


up to 142,292.00 CAD


142,292.01 CAD to 170,151.00 CAD


170,151.01 CAD to 227,668.00 CAD


227,668.01 CAD to 341,502.00 CAD


341,502.01 CAD and over

Employer taxes


Employee taxes


Minimum Wage


The standard minimum wage in Alberta is 15.00 CAD per hour, and 13.00 CAD for students and employees under 18. The minimum wage rate set for employees of federally regulated organizations will be the current minimum wage rate specified in the jurisdiction in which the employee performs the work.




Payroll Cycle

An employer has 1 month to remit an employee’s first pay. After this, wages must be paid at regular intervals of no more than 16 days, or 1 month in case of managerial personnel. If pay day falls on a statutory holiday, the wages must be paid on the preceding working day.

13th Salary

There is no legislation for 13th-month payments in Alberta, Canada. 

Authority Payments

Authority Payment

Paid To

Due Date


Federal Taxes, Employer contribution + withholding taxes


Either monthly or semi monthly


Health Contribution




Working Hours


The maximum number of working hours shall not exceed 8 hours a day, 44 hours a week, with a maximum (inclusive of overtime) of 12-hours in a day. 


Up to 44 hours can be worked weekly, after which additional hours must be paid at the rate of 150% salary, or one hour of time off in lieu.
In exceptional circumstances, when an employee is called into work (during rest/non-working time), overtime should be paid for at least 3 hours of pay at the minimum wage, even if they work less than 3 hours. Overtime exempt status is in place for certain job types e.g.,  many managerial and supervisory positions.

If an employee works on the public holiday, then the employee is entitled to general holiday pay of an amount that is equal to:

  • at least their average daily wage, and at least 1.5 times their wage rate for each hour worked on that day, or
  • standard wage rate for each hour worked on the general holiday and a day off with pay where the pay is at least as much as their average daily wage

If the holiday falls on a non-regular day of work, there is no requirement to pay general holiday pay.

Working Week



Paid Time Off

In general, employees are entitled to paid annual leave if they have worked for the same employer for at least 30 working days in the previous year; the number of days and payment is determined by provincial law.

In Alberta, employees are entitled to two consecutive weeks of vacation leave after the first year of employment and three consecutive weeks of leave after five years of employment. Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement is calculated at the daily wage plus 1.5 times regular rate or the regular rate plus one day paid leave (whichever is the higher). This is paid 14 days before the commencement of a vacation.

Vacation Days
Public Holidays

Public Holidays

There are 9 public holidays. When public holidays fall on a weekend it is customary to give off in lieu either the previous working day or next working day.

Sick Days

The Canada Labour Code was updated with effect from December 1, 2022, to provide 10 days of paid sick leave to employees in the federally regulated private sector, (which is limited to specific industries)  There is a thirty day qualifying period for covered employees; therefore, on December 31, employees who have been continuously employed for at least 30 days will have access to their first three days of paid sick leave.

As of February 1, 2023, employees will acquire a fourth day, and will continue to accumulate one day a month up to a maximum of 10 days per year.

Effective December 18, 2022, Canada’s Employment Insurance sickness benefits were extended from 15 weeks to 26 weeks. As such, qualified individuals who establish a new claim on or after December 18, 2022 will receive up to 26 weeks of Employment Insurance sickness benefits, paid at 55% of their average weekly insurance earnings, for up to a maximum of $650 per week in 2023.

Maternity Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 17 weeks of leave if the employee has completed at least one year of employment before the due date. Maternity leave may not begin before the 17th week preceding the expected delivery date and shall end not later than 18 weeks after. If the delivery occurs after the expected date, the employee is entitled to at least two additional weeks of maternity leave.

Special maternity leave may begin four weeks before the expected delivery date when there is a risk of termination of her pregnancy or a danger for the health of the mother or unborn child caused by the pregnancy. Two weeks’ notice and a medical certificate is required.

Employment insurance provides maternity and parental benefits to:

  • People who are away from work because they’re pregnant or have recently given birth
  • Parents who are away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child
  • Workers are entitled to 55% of their earnings for 15 weeks up to a maximum of CAD650 a week

Maternity benefits are only available to the person who is away from work because they’re pregnant or have recently given birth. They can’t be shared between parents.

The person receiving maternity benefits may also be entitled to parental benefits.

Maternity benefits can be followed by parental benefits. You may apply for both at once.

For further information visit the Government of Canada website.



Paternity Leave

Paternal leave falls under parental leave.

Parental Leave

Parents are entitled to up to 63 weeks of leave to care for a newborn or adopted child. The parental leave cannot begin before the week of birth or when the child is legally adopted.
The leave should begin no later than 78 weeks after the birth or adoption.

Employment insurance provides maternity and parental benefits to:

  • People who are away from work because they’re pregnant or have recently given birth
  • Parents who are away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child

The assistance details are as follows:

Benefit name Maximum weeks Benefit rate Weekly max
Standard parental Up to 40 weeks can be shared between parents, but one parent cannot receive more than 35 weeks of standard benefits 55% up to $650
Extended parental Up to 69 weeks can be shared between parents, but one parent cannot receive more than 61 weeks of extended benefits 33% up to $390

For further information visit the Government of Canada website.

Other Leave

In Alberta, employees are entitled to 3 days of mandatory leave for the bereavement of a family member, approximately eight weeks of leave for compassionate care leave, up to 10 days per year for personal emergency leave, and up to 5 days for domestic violence and sexual assault leave.
Employees are also entitled to up to 37 weeks of leave in the case of a critical illness, up to 104 weeks in the event of the death of an employee’s child, or in the case that a child has disappeared.

Employees are entitled to family medical leave of up to 28 weeks.
In Alberta, all employers must provide their full-time regularly employed employees job-protected, unpaid leave for their duty as jurors or as a witness in a case, responding to a subpoena: or acting as a plaintiff or defendant in the courts. Employees must provide a copy of the jury summons to the employer as evidence of the requirement.

Reservist Leave regulations require employers to provide up to 20 days of unpaid leave each calendar year for annual training for reservists once they have completed at least 26 consecutive weeks of service with the same employer. An employee may take reservist leave for the following reasons:

  • deployment to a Canadian forces’ operation outside Canada
  • deployment to a Canadian forces operation inside Canada that is assisting with an emergency or the aftermath of an emergency
  • annual training, included related travel time, for up to 20 days in a calendar year
  • other operations set out as such in the Employment Standards Regulation by the minister


Termination Process

The termination process is standard in Alberta, Canada, based on termination reasons contained within the General Labour Law, unless an employer can provide sufficient cause for dismissal without notice (due to misconduct, etc.)
Notice of termination must be in writing final payment must be made within 3 days after the last day of employment when proper notice is given and 10 days when no notice has been provided.

Notice Period

Notice Period

In general, notice periods in Alberta are stipulated within the employment contract/collective agreement and is linked to the reason for termination and the employee’s length of service, as below:

  •  No notice is required, if the employee is within 3 month of service.
  • One week notice is required if the employee is within the first two years of service.
  • Two weeks’ notice is required if the employee is within the second year of service up to the fourth year of service.
  • Four weeks’ notice is required if the employee is within the fourth year of service up to the sixth year of service.
  • Five weeks’ notice is required if the employee is within the sixth year of service up to the eighth year of service.
  • Six weeks’ notice is required if the employee is within the eighth year of service up to the tenth year of service.
  • Eight weeks’ notice is required if the employee has been employed for ten years or more.

Severance Pay

Severance pay is not required to be paid in most termination scenarios.

Probation Period

The probation period is not required but it can be used. In Alberta for permanent employees it is commonly a minimum of 3 months.

Common Benefits


Cell Phone, internet allowance, and car allowance.

Supplementary health care/dental plan – typically covers costs of items or care that is not covered by Canada’s universal healthcare system such as prescription drugs or vision ware.

Private pension contribution of the employer (2-6 % of base salary).



The Government of Canada operates the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to enable foreign citizens to apply to work in Canada for a set period. The program covers all job roles and knowledge levels, and it can be used when a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident is not available or suitable for the role.
There are federal (Government of Canada) immigration programs and provincial programs (Government of Alberta).

In Alberta, the provincial program is called the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). The Government of Alberta nominates individuals for permanent residence, but the federal government decides who becomes a permanent resident. The AINP is an economic program, so Alberta nominates people to help meet the province’s needs for workers and entrepreneurs. The types of workers and entrepreneurs Alberta needs may change as the province’s economy changes.



The standard rate of VAT in Alberta Canada is 5.00%

Papaya Global offers full PEO in Canada services for companies not wishing to open a local entity.

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

January 9, 2023
Alberta, Annual taxable income (CAD) has been updated.
January 1, 2021
Canada Pension Plan contributions for the employee and employer contribution rates increased to 5.45%.

Questions & Answers

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Shayna W.
Shayna W.
2 years ago

Can an employee be terminated while on job-protected leave?

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
2 years ago
Reply to  Shayna W.

Hi Shayna, An employee cannot be terminated unless the employer suspends or discontinues the business. If the termination is due to the business being suspended, the employer must reinstate the employee if the business starts up again within 52 weeks after the leave ends.

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in Canada – Alberta

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

And more...

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Public Holidays Calendar

Canada – Alberta 2023
Day Date Holiday Notes
Sunday Jan-1 New Year’s Day
Monday Feb-20 Family Day
Friday Apr-7 Good Friday
Monday Apr-10 Easter Monday Optional General Holiday
Monday May-22 Victoria Day
Saturday Jul-1 Canada Day
Monday Aug-7 Civic Holiday Optional General Holiday
Monday Sep-4 Labour Day
Monday Oct-9 Thanksgiving
Saturday Nov-11 Remembrance Day
Monday Dec-25 Christmas Day
Tuesday Dec-26 Boxing Day Optional General Holiday