Ask an Accountant: Overtime hours and overtime pay in Alberta

Francesca Giroux, CPA
For the Lakeside Leader

Most employees are entitled to overtime pay. To determine the basic overtime, it is calculated as all hours worked in excess of eight hours a day or 44 hours per week. Overtime hours are calculated on both a weekly and a daily basis, with the higher of the two numbers being the overtime hours for that particular week. For example, Susan is an employee who is entitled to basic overtime; she worked nine hours each day from Monday to Thursday this week for a total of 36 hours. If overtime were calculated only on a weekly basis Susan would not be eligible for overtime pay as her hours worked did not exceed 44. However, since overtime hours are calculated on a daily basis as well, Susan would have four hours of overtime based on the information above, as she worked one hour over the eight hours each day for four days. In most cases all overtime hours must be paid at a rate of at least one and a half times the employee’s regular wage rate. This not only includes hourly employees but employees who are paid on a weekly monthly or annual salary, unless overtime hours are accrued under an overtime agreement.
There are certain professionals to whom the overtime hours and pay do not apply. Some common examples are: professionals (i.e. architects, accountants, dentists, engineers, lawyers, optometrists, veterinarians, etc.); licensed salespersons of real estate; and salespersons of automobiles, trucks, heavy duty equipment, etc. In addition there are certain industries to which different overtime rules apply. For example, in the trucking industry overtime is incurred after 10 hours a day and 50 hours a week. In the logging and surveying industries, overtime occurs after 10 hours a day or 191 hours per month. Oil well servicing daily hours are 12 and the monthly hours before overtime is calculated is also 191 hours per month.
For more detailed information on employment standards or overtime hours please contact Employment Standards Contact Centre 1-877-427-3731.
Please e-mail your questions to frankie@nashgirouxllp.ca.
Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company’s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CPA for information specific to your own needs.

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