Blog Post #997 – Youth Employment Standards Change in Effect

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Changes to Alberta’s youth-employment standards that took effect on January 1, 2019 mean that youth aged 12 and under can seek employment only in artistic endeavors like film, stage or television productions if they have parental or guardian consent and a government-issued permit.

The new standards apply only when there is an employment relationship in which employers make mandatory deductions or provide benefits like vacation pay. They do not apply to volunteer activities or casual work such as babysitting, lawn-mowing, snow-shoveling or farm and ranch work.

The provincial government consulted with more than 100 individuals and organizations when updating the standards. “By providing clarity on the standards for employing youth under age 13, the updated legislation will ensure stronger protection for children, while still offering them the choice to gain valuable life experience through their first jobs,” says Minister of Labour Christina Gray.

Employers must provide proper training and supervision to young employees and inform parents or guardians of any workplace risks.

My opinion

Blog Post #41, Enforcement Concerns Auditor written on Feb. 11, 2011, by yours truly, listed a lack of motivation on the part of the Ministry of Labour to enforce health and safety in the workplace.

Excerpt from the report

A report by the Auditor General of Alberta suggests that the province needs to drastically improve its approach to worker safety.

The semi-annual report, released on April 14 by Merwan Saher, the province’s acting auditor general, identifies a number of concerns surrounding the province’s enforcement of occupational health and safety legislation. “A small but high-risk group of employers consistently fail to comply with OHS orders, often despite numerous re-inspections” by Alberta Employment and Immigration (AEI), Saher writes. In addition, he points out that “half of those employers that persistently fail to comply with the OHS Act also continue to hold a valid Certificate of Recognition (COR), and continue to have elevated injury rates among their workers.”

Blog Post #1 – Am I Glad to Be Working in Ontario, written on November 29, 2010, dealt with the death of a 16-year-old at a Rona lumber yard. There were two teenagers joy riding and, when the machine tipped over, pinned the 16-year-old under approximately 16,000 pounds.

Blog Post #80 – Study finds ‘Child Labour’ violations in Alberta, written on May 17, 2011.

Excerpt from the report

“A study suggesting potentially widespread labour malpractices involving children and adolescents in Alberta, including illegal employment, has elicited calls from the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) to beef up enforcement.

Of the 8,200 (6.3 per cent of) children aged nine to 11 who held jobs between 2008 and 2009, 78 per cent were employed in prohibited jobs such as newspaper delivery and janitorial services. For the 26,000 (19.4 per cent of) adolescents aged 12 to 14 who worked, 21 per cent were employed in prohibited occupations, such as janitorial services, sports teams and on golf courses.

As the reader can see, we have had many problems in the province of Alberta so this report is really overdue.”

I truly believe that changes in attitude from one of indifference to a culture of workplace health and safety is the answer. It does not have to be costly, as many employers may think and the benefits to your organization would be tremendous.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – Alberta Health and Safety – An Oxymoron!

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.


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