The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Employees in Alberta

Beautiful Alberta Buildings


How to Hire in Alberta, Canada

Step By Step Guide


Identify Candidate

The initial step in the Alberta hiring process involves identifying potential candidates. To begin your search, consider using a mix of methods such as job postings, advertisements, and collaboration with recruiters. Keep in mind that Alberta imposes strict guidelines on employment and recruitment agencies, so it’s essential to work exclusively with provincially licensed agencies.


Choose Subsidiary or Employer of Record

The next decision is whether to establish a local subsidiary or opt for an Employer of Record (EOR) arrangement. EORs allow you to hire in Alberta without setting up a local subsidiary and offer various other advantages, which we’ll delve into below.


Prepare an Offer

Once you’ve identified a suitable candidate, it’s time to create an employment offer. If you decide to hire through an EOR, they can assist you in drafting an offer that aligns with local laws and meets the candidate’s expectations. Canadian candidates typically anticipate supplementary health insurance and a retirement match as part of their employment package.


Draft an Employment Contract

Employment laws vary across countries and within Canada’s provinces. To minimize risk, engage an employment lawyer practicing in Alberta or rely on an EOR to draft your employment contract.


Onboarding and Payroll Setup

After the candidate accepts the offer, focus on their onboarding process and payroll setup. In Alberta, employees contribute to federal and provincial taxes, the national Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) wage replacement program.

EOR vs Subsidiary

Establishing a Local Subsidiary

One approach to hiring in Alberta involves opening a local subsidiary or branch. This process entails incorporating a business within the province, setting up a Canadian bank account, and establishing a local payroll and accounting office. However, it’s essential to note that creating a local subsidiary is a significant, long-term commitment, primarily suited for businesses intending to sell or operate extensively in Alberta.


Employer of Record (EOR)

Alternatively, companies can choose to hire through an Employer of Record (EOR). EORs act on behalf of businesses that lack a local presence. They handle administrative tasks related to employment, including payroll management, benefits administration, and compliance guidance.

Which option is better?

Cost to Hire in Alberta

Alberta Employer Taxes

Employment Insurance (EI):1.66% up to a maximum of $1,468.77
Canada Pension Plan (CPP):5.95% up to a maximum of $3,867.50

Alberta Payroll Rules

Minimum Wage:$15 per hour for all employees, except students under 18 who receive a minimum of $13 per hour, certain salespeople who receive $598 per week, and domestic employees who receive $2,848 per month.
Hours of Work:44 hours before overtime is owed.
Overtime Rate:1.5 times the employee’s base wage or time off in lieu.

Vacation Entitlement

Vacation Time

Less than 1 yearNot entitled unless stated in contract
1 to 5 years2 weeks
More than 5 years3 weeks

Vacation Pay

Less than 1 year4% of wages
1 to 4 years4% of wages
5 years or more5% of wages

Termination Notice and Pay

Employees who wish to end their employment must give written notice to the employer.

Tenure Entitlement
More than 90 days but less than 2 years 1 week
2 years or more 2 weeks
4 years but less than 6 years 4 weeks
6 years but less than 8 years 5 weeks
8 years but less than 10 years 6 weeks
10 years or more 8 weeks

Alberta Employment Law Overview

How Employment Law Works in Canada

Canada has a federal system where legislative and executive power is shared between the central government and the provinces and territories. Employment law is the purview of provinces and territories, and of the federal government when it comes to its own and employees and those in federally regulated industries.

Who It Applies to:

All employees except those in a few licensed professions, IT, and managers (partial exclusion).

Hire Your First Employee in Canada With Canadian Payroll Services

As an employer of record, Canadian Payroll Services can help you hire quickly and compliantly in Canada, without having to open a local entity. We handle payroll, onboarding, and local compliance so that you never have to worry about it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hiring Alberta Workers

To hire an employee in BC you must first have a presence in Canada, either by opening a local subsidiary or engaging an Employer of Record to hire on your behalf. Next, extend an offer of employment. If you opt to use an offer letter or letter of intent, these should undergo a compliance check with your legal department or EOR. Once the offer is accepted, have your candidate sign a compliant employment contract that spells out hours of work, vacation entitlement, wages, job duties and basic policies. Next you must onboard your new hire, provide a handbook, and get them set up for payroll.EORs like Canadian Payroll Services provide locally compliant contracts and a full onboarding experience.

Working with a PEO or EOR to hire in British Columbia makes your life easier. PEOs and EORs provide payroll and HR outsourcing services that allow you to focus on managing your team and achieving business goals, instead of administrative details. Outsourcing these functions saves your business money, improves your local compliance, and allows you to increase business productivity.

Alberta is home to some of Canada’s most qualified workers, many of whom are already experienced in remote working, and the province has one of the lowest employer tax rates in the country. Alberta is in the Mountain Standard Time Zone, making it a great place to hire off hours customer service teams and highly skilled remote office workers alike.