Here’s the Law

Occupational Health and Safety

Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation is the law that helps protect your health and safety at work. It focuses on keeping the workplace safe and healthy for you, others you work with and your employer.

As a worker, the OHS law requires you to work safely and co-operate with your employer by following the health and safety rules for the job.

The law also has specific health and safety requirements you must follow. For example, you are required to use a safety harness or similar equipment when doing certain kinds of work, and you must use personal protective equipment, such as safety boots, safety glasses, ear plugs and hard hat, when necessary.


Employment Standards

What is Employment Standards?

Alberta’s employment standards spell out the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers for payment of earnings, hours of work and overtime, vacations and general holidays, maternity and parental leaves, and termination of employment. The rules apply to employees of all ages with some restrictions for young workers for their protection.

If you are under 18:

  • Under 12 Years Old
    Children under 12 years of age are not permitted to be employed at any time in any occupation.

  • 12 to14 Years Old
    If you are 12 to 14 years of age, you are considered an “adolescent” and need a permit from Employment Standards to work at any job other than clerking in an office or retail store, delivering flyers or certain approved duties in the restaurant industry.

    You can’t be employed during normal school hours, for more than 2 hours on a school day, for more than 8 hours on a non-school day, and not at all between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

  • 15 to 17 Years Old
    If you are a “young person” 15 to 17 years of age, you don’t need a permit to work. However, restaurants, bars, all retail stores, gas stations, hotels and motels have special restrictions when employing young persons. In these businesses, you must be in the continuous presence of someone 18 or older after 9:00 p.m. to midnight, and cannot be employed at all between midnight and 6:00 a.m. To work after midnight in other occupations, written consent of your parent or guardian and the continuous presence of someone 18 years of age or older are both requirements.

    If you’re in a high school work experience program, your hours of work may be different. Check with your Work Experience Co-ordinator.

For more information, see Employees Under Age 18.

Created: 2006-08-16
Modified: 2011-03-14
PID: 3093

Contact OHS

1-866-415-8690 (toll-free)

780-415-8690 (Edmonton)

TTY: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton)
TTY: 1-800-232-7215

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Occupational Health and Safety Council

The OHS Council is an administrative body, which operates arms length from government. The Council advises the Minister on OHS matters and serves as an appeal body for orders issued by Occupational Health and Safety.

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