How to Change Spousal or Partner Support in Alberta

How To Change Spousal or Partner Support in Alberta

How To Change Spousal or Partner Support in Alberta
https://www.alberta.ca/change-spousal-partner-support.aspx

Once a court order has been issued for spousal or partner support – it is still possible to have the court order changed. Under certain circumstances – you may be eligible to apply for an increase if you’re the recipient of support and also may be eligible to apply for a decrease if you’re the payor of support. Either way – we recommend you consult with an Edmonton family lawyer for assistance on this matter. There are 2 different processes and forms that need to be filled out if you are looking to alter your spousal support or partner support payments. Here is a brief overview on both situations.

How to apply if you’re not married, common law or divorce hasn’t started

The first step is to gather all your supporting documents and evidence to justify your request for amendment. Some of the documents required include your tax returns from the past three years, paystubs and other proof of income for the current tax year, an itemized list of all your monthly expenses (in some cases receipts will be asked to be provided), a thorough list of all your assets and debts as well as a copy of the agreement or court order you want amended.

After you have collected all your documents you will be required to fill out a series of forms depending on whether you’re the recipient of support or the payor of support. In both situations you will be expected to fill out a Claim as per the Family Law Act and an Affidavit. Additionally, if you are the payor you will be expected to fill out a Payor’s Statement – Vary Spousal/Partner Support form and if you are the recipient of support you will be expected to fill out the Recipient’s Statement – Vary Spousal/Partner Support. The final step is to file your claim with the court where it will be reviewed with no guarantee that a change will take place. In both scenarios we recommend you speak with an Edmonton family lawyer for legal assistance if you’re looking to process the claim in the Greater Edmonton area.

How to apply if you’re divorced or your divorce proceedings have already started

In order to apply for a change or variance in spousal support or partner support if your divorce proceedings haven’t already started – you will be required to gather the same list of documents indicated above. As for the forms – you will be required to fill out an Application to Change Spousal Support. If you’re looking to reduce arrears then you’ll be expected to fill out a form called the Application to Reduce or Cancel Arrears. The final step involves filing your claim. We recommend in a situation like this that you consult with a family lawyer to ensure you’ve satisfied all the requirements correctly.

Book a Consultation with an Edmonton Family Lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office

Contact our law firm now to book a consultation to speak with a member of our legal team regarding your change in spousal/partner support payments. We may be able to help if you are eligible. You can book a consultation by either calling us at 587-410-2500, emailing us at office@freedomlaw.ca or filling out an online consultation request. A member of our family law team is on stand-by and pleased to assist you.

Disclaimer: Please note the contents of this article are not meant to act as legal advice but instead act as a general overview on a legal topic. For more specific advice on your family law or divorce law matter please contact a lawyer.

An Update on Family Law Court Proceedings In Alberta During COVID-19.

An Update on Family Law Court Proceedings In Alberta During COVID-19.

An Update on Family Law Court Proceedings In Alberta During COVID-19.

Verhaeghe Law Office is pleased to see the Province of Alberta slowly reopening after months of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 12, 2020 – gyms, arenas, spas, movie theatres, libraries, pools and sports activities have re-opened and resumed operations in Alberta. People are also allowed to book campsites and sit in restaurants at the same time which has been welcomed by Albertans after months of lockdown. The quota on mass gatherings has also been amended to include a maximum of 50 for indoor gatherings and up to 100 people can congregate outside. So far – Alberta is aiming to have students back in school this September with strict measures in place to protect the health and safety of students and staff. But how are the Alberta courts doing with their resumption plans? The Province of Alberta has prepared a COVID-19 Staged Resumption of Court Operations – Part 1 which can be found here. We’ve also taken the liberty to summarize what court operations look like as of today’s date. For more up to date information please visit the Alberta Courts website.

Access to Provincial Court Houses

Access to provincial court houses in Alberta is currently restricted to individuals required for proceedings before the Court including counsel, litigants, accused, witnesses, support workers and members of the media. There are strict public health guidelines and social distancing protocols in place to ensure the safety and health of all those who attend court. The number of people permitted inside the court will also follow public health and safety guidelines until further notice.

Family Law Proceedings in Edmonton and surrounding areas

Child protection and family law docket courts will be held remotely through virtual technology such as tele conferencing or video conferencing and in some cases – personal attendance may be required and allowed. Child protection hearings will be heard on a case-by-case basis. Family law trials scheduled between May 25th and July 3rd will proceed for parties and their lawyers along with witnesses if required. Emergency protection orders will continue to be heard at court locations during regular court hours. Furthermore, EPO applications may be made by telecommunication in accordance with EPO Telephone Applications (COVID-10 Protocol).

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office For Your Family Law Court Proceedings

Our divorce and family lawyers have been busy assisting Albertans with their divorce proceedings even during COVID-19. Contact our law firm today if you need legal assistance by dialing 587-410-2500 for a consultation with a member of our family law team. You can schedule a consultation by calling us, live chatting with us, emailing us or by filling out an online consultation form. With officers in Edmonton, Whitecourt and Athabasca – we are proud to be able to serve clients across the Greater Edmonton Area.

Disclaimer: Please note the content presented in this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic during the month of June 2020 and in no way is it considered legal advice. For independent legal advice please consult with a lawyer regarding your unique situation.

How to Remove an Executor From a Will in Alberta

How to Remove An Executor From A Will in Alberta

How to Remove An Executor From A Will in Alberta

It is not uncommon to see executors removed from a will or estate in Alberta. Applications to remove an executor are generally commenced by the estate beneficiaries. In some cases, the executor may request to have themselves removed if they are unwilling or unable to execute the estate’s last wishes. If you have been asked by a loved one to be the executor of their will and estate – there is a lot of important information you need to know. In our recent blog post titled “Information Executors of Wills and Estates in Alberta Need To Know” – we go over these details with you. It is important that you understand your expected legal and fiduciary duties before agreeing to be someone’s executor in order to prevent any legal issues or delays down the road. Removing an executor from a will is generally commenced by an application where the court has statutory authority to remove an executor.

Here are some reasons a court may remove an executor:

  • Fraud or gross misconduct
  • Bankruptcy
  • Failure to distribute assets or maintain an even hand
  • Endangering assets
  • Incompetence
  • When an executor refuses to or is unable to act
  • Hostility between executors and beneficiaries
  • Executor not communicating with beneficiaries
  • Conflict of interest

Where it gets messy is when an executor does not want to be removed and the beneficiaries do want the executor removed or if any of the above-mentioned situations arise. In a situation like this – estate litigation may be required and we recommend consulting with an Edmonton wills and estates lawyer as soon as possible for legal guidance and representation.

How does an Executor get removed?

The first step is to consult with a wills and estates lawyer. Beneficiaries can petition the court to have the executor removed or the executor can ask to be removed. This process can take a long time and there is generally no guarantee that the courts will honour this request. In the event the request is granted – the court will appoint a new executor. There must be sufficient grounds to demonstrate cause for removing an executor and a lawyer can help you determine whether or not you have merit to satisfy this request. If there is merit – a lawyer will assist you by commencing an application on your behalf.

Contact our Edmonton Wills & Estates Lawyers Today

If you require legal assistance regarding the removal of an executor and reside in Alberta – our Edmonton wills and estates lawyers can help. Contact our law firm today and request to speak with a wills and estates lawyer regarding your legal matter. You can book a paid consultation by calling 587-410-2500, live chat with us, send us an email or complete an online consultation form. We generally respond to all clients within one business day.

Disclaimer: Please note that the advice provided in this article is not intended to act as legal advice. For specific legal advice on your wills and estates matter please speak with a lawyer directly regarding your unique situation. Lawyers are only allowed to give legal advice once a lawyer-client relationship has been established in the form of a signed retainer.

Information Executors of Wills & Estates in Alberta Need To Know

Information Executors of Wills & Estates in Alberta Need To Know

Information Executors of Wills & Estates in Alberta Need To Know

An executor of a will and/or estate have legal obligations and fiduciary duties that are required to be executed upon the passing of an individual. In most circumstances – the deceased will have notified the executor at some point prior to death to inform them that they were appointed as an executor. If you have been bestowed with the duty of being an executor – it is important to note that you are now required to satisfy the legal and financial obligations that were left upon you unless you object in which case there are legal avenues for you to consider. Please note this article is only intended to act as a general overview on these topics and does not constitute legal advice. For independent legal advice – please contact our law firm and speak with an Alberta based wills and estates lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office.

What are the roles of an executor of a will?

If for some reason you choose not to be the executor of the will – there are legal options for you. You can inform the court when the application for probate is submitted that you do not want to be the personal representative/executor. At this point, the family will then need to agree on who will take on the role of the executor. If there is conflict within the family – a lawyer may advise that a corporation take on the role of executor. An executor is responsible for settling the estate and in some situations will be responsible for filing a Grant of Probate. If the deceased individual has a complex estate or large asset values – a grant of probate will be required. The executor is also responsible for settling the estates as per the deceased individual’s last wishes and has to do so within the legally prescribed time frame. The executor is also responsible for keeping the residual beneficiaries informed throughout the process and inform them what gets distributed to them. Once the estate is close to settling, the executor is also responsible to prepare an account of all financial transactions for beneficiaries with respect to the estate and this is something a lawyer can assist with as well.

How long does an executor have to settle an estate in Alberta?

When there are no backlogs or delays at the courthouse – a grant of probate is generally issued within 4-6 weeks after it is received for processing. We recommend when filing a Probate Application that you contact a wills and estates lawyer for assistance as this is not an easy process. For more information on this process read our earlier blog post on Probate Applications and how they work in Alberta.

Can an executor be a beneficiary in Alberta?

Across Alberta – we have seen numerous instances where an executor is also a beneficiary in a will. It is very common and there is no law in Alberta that prevents beneficiaries from being executors. We’ve seen a lot of cases where executors are also the sole beneficiaries in a will – for example if a spouse or single child is appointed. While this might seem straight forward there are still many legalities to consider and we recommend you contact a wills and estates lawyer for legal assistance.

Contact our Edmonton Wills & Estates Lawyers Today

If you are an executor of a will and are in need of legal assistance regarding a wills and estates matter – contact our law firm today to book a consultation. You can book a consultation with our legal team by filling out an online consultation request form, via live chat or by calling us to schedule a consultation. Our Edmonton wills and estates lawyer are on stand-by and waiting to help you with all your wills and estates legal matters. Call us now by dialing 587-410-2500.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is only intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend you contact our lawyers for custom legal advice as is pertains to your unique and individual situation. Contact our law firm for legal assistance and once a lawyer-client agreement has been established we can provide you with legal advice.

How do Probate Applications work in Alberta?

How do Probate Applications work in Alberta?

How do Probate Applications work in Alberta?

At Verhaeghe Law Office – our wills and estates lawyers have assisted thousands of individuals across Alberta with their wills and estates legal matters. We often get asked how probate applications work in Alberta and thought it would be a good time to explain this process for our readers.

What is a Grant of Probate?

A Grant of Probate is a court order that confirms that a Will is valid and appoints the personal representative in the Will. The role of this representative is to administer and settle the estate as per the deceased individual’s last Will. Depending on the nature of the assets in the estate – they may need to apply for a grant of probate. They also owe a fiduciary duty to the estate and its beneficiaries and are legally obligated to act in accordance with the Estate Administration Act and Trustee Act. It is important to note here that a grant of probate is not always necessary and is only necessary under a few circumstances. Contact our wills and estates lawyer today at Verhaeghe Law Office to see if a grant of probate is required in your situation.

How Does The Probate Process Work in Alberta?

In Alberta – a probate application begins with having the court declare that a deceased individual’s last Will is official and that their Executor has the authority to officially settle the estate. An Application for Probate will include the deceased individual’s assets and debts which essentially allows both the banks and the land title office to transfer any outlined assets to their respective beneficiaries. After an individual has passed away – you must wait at least seven days after a person’s death to submit a Will for probate.

How Can A Wills & Estates Lawyer Help With Probate Applications in Alberta?

Depending on how complicated the estate is – a wills and estates lawyer can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to prepare and file the Application for Probate. A lawyer will help complete the application and have it served to the beneficiaries and filed at the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. If there are no delays or backlogs at the court – a Grant of Probate can be issued within a few weeks after the application has been received at the courthouse. If a beneficiary has been bestowed with property – that beneficiary cannot sell or transfer that property until the estate has been granted probate. So the sooner you hire a lawyer to assist you with this process – the better. It is also important to note here that if the deceased was First Nations and lived on a reserve – the law is different for settling estates where the Indian Act and Indian Estates Regulations apply. A wills and estates lawyer can assist with this situation too.

Contact an Edmonton Wills & Estates Lawyer Today For Legal Help With Probate Applications

At Verhaeghe Law Office our wills and estates lawyers have assisted Albertans with probate applications for over a decade now. For more information on how our lawyers can assist with Probates and Wills – contact our law firm today to book a consultation with a member of our legal team. You can chat with us online, fill out a consultation request form, email us at office@freedomlaw.ca or call us by dialing 587-410-2500.

*Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal matter and does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal advice to your case please contact a wills and estates lawyer.

Estate Planning Checklist: Things To Consider When Estate Planning in Alberta

Estate Planning Checklist: Things To Consider When Estate Planning in Alberta

Estate Planning Checklist: Things To Consider When Estate Planning in Alberta

At Verhaeghe Law Office – our wills and estates lawyers as well as our estate litigation lawyers will always recommend that you consider estate planning before it’s too late. One of the most important benefits of having an estate plan in place is that it minimizes room for conflict amongst your loved ones after you pass on. Furthermore, it alleviates certain burdens from your loved ones because your final wishes are in writing as to how to handle things like your estate or your funeral. Here is an estate planning checklist we have created in order to help you with your estate planning. Please note this list is not exhaustive and we recommend you consult with a wills and estates lawyers for the unique needs required by your individual estate plan:

  1. Ensure you have a will in place: Having a will is very important because if you pass on without a will – the government can possess your estate according to the laws of your province or territory. Your probate and legal fees may also be higher, and your loved ones may not get the opportunity to inherit assets, gifts or money from your estate.
  2. Make arrangements to plan and pay for your funeral: Indicate what kind of funeral you’d like and make arrangements to prepay for your funeral in advance. In a situation like this, money will be deposited into a trust account or insurance fund until your funeral allowing you to pay the costs of your funeral instead of leaving this burden to your loved ones.
  3. Buy life insurance to cover expenses related to your passing: Buying life insurance to cover expenses allows you to use funds in many ways down the road. For example, you can leave a tax-free lump sum payment for a beneficiary, provide a steady income for your loved ones after your passing or cover final estate costs.
  4. Arrange to distribute your gifts, assets and other items to your loved ones: It is very important to name your beneficiaries – as well as who gets what and more importantly why they deserve it to minimize dispute or conflict amongst your loved ones.
  5. Spend unsheltered assets: You can reduce estate taxes by spending your unsheltered savings such as RRSPs or RRIFs. If your spouse meets certain conditions – this money may go to them without any tax or probate fees if it is set up properly.
  6. Take advantage of RRSP contributions: In some cases, you may be eligible to instruct your executor to contribute money into a spousal RRSP for up to 60 days after you die. This can turn taxable income into a sheltered investment so it is worth looking into given that there may be less tax and lower fees on your estate.
  7. Buy permanent life insurance as an investment: Death benefits from some insurance policies are considered tax-free which may allow the transfer of these funds to a tax-efficient one. Speak to a lawyer first to see if this makes sense for your individual situation.
  8. Transfer property to joint ownership and/or set up a trust fund(s): If your estate planning needs are rather complicated – it may make sense to transfer your property to joint ownership with your beneficiary or setting up a trust fund. These arrangements are subject to certain laws and rules and is something your estate lawyer can assist with. There are many trade offs to consider so discuss these with your lawyer to make sure it makes sense for you.
  9. Make arrangements in case of incapacity: Ensure you appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so. Ensure this is someone you trust implicitly to make decisions for you and ensure you’ve received their consent prior to naming them to make decisions on your behalf.

Contact our Wills and Estates lawyers from Verhaeghe Law Office

For additional legal assistance with your estate planning needs – book a consultation with our estate planning lawyers by dialing 587-410-2500 or live chat with our legal team to schedule your consultation. Our Alberta wills and estates lawyer are on stand-by and look forward to helping you with your estate planning needs.

Disclaimer: Please note this blog is only intended to act as a general overview on estate planning matters and does not constitute legal advice. For catered legal advice regarding your situation please contact our law office for legal assistance. Please note that we can only provide legal assistance once lawyer-client relationship has been established via written contract where our lawyers have been retained by you for legal counsel.

Divorce Proceedings in Alberta During COVID-19

Divorce Proceedings During COVID-19 in Alberta

Divorce Proceedings During COVID-19 in Alberta

While courts are technically closed during the global COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta and provinces across the country – the courts are still processing emergency related court orders on a case by case basis. For example, in Ontario – a judge ordered that a mother who was immune compromised in Ottawa be given exclusive use of the matrimonial home due to her spouse’s relaxed approach to social distancing. Additionally, the courts are also granting emergency custody orders in an effort to protect the health and wellbeing of children who may be unnecessarily exposed to COVID.

Emergency Orders in Alberta on Family Law Matters

In our previous blog post titled Emergency Court Orders in the Province of Alberta during COVID-19 we mentioned that the courts were still presiding over emergency matters in a variety of areas. With respect to family law matters, the courts will hear certain emergency family law matters including those:

  • With respect to Orders where there is a significant risk of violence or harm to one of the parties or a child;
  • With respect to Orders where there is a removal and a child may be removed from their jurisdiction; or
  • Emergency protection order reviews

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation Services

The courts are pushing for Alberta divorce lawyers to find alternative methods of resolution such as alternative dispute resolution or mediation to not inundate the courts once they are open again. At Verhaeghe Law Office we are equipped to provide our clients with mediation services and alternative dispute resolution services during this time. Contact our law office for more information on how we can assist with your divorce proceedings. These types of services allow you to settle your divorce outside of the courts - making it more cost-effective and allows for your divorce to be settled in a timely manner instead of waiting for the courts to re-open again. Something to consider if you are awaiting on court dates.

Filing Deadlines

As of today - filing deadlines and processes remain unaffected currently. When or if this changes, the Alberta courts will inform the public. There is a possibility that the Courts may revert to online or fax filing to reduce the number of people attending the Courthouse. However there has been no formal declaration on this topic as of today's date.

Contact our Alberta divorce lawyers today

At Verhaeghe Law Office - our Alberta based divorce lawyers are equipped to help clients across Alberta with their divorce proceedings thanks to the use of technologies like Skype and Zoom meetings. With 3 offices located in Edmonton, Athabasca and Whitecourt - we are ready to serve you with your divorce needs even during COVID-19. Call 587-410-2500 today to book a consultation with one of our divorce lawyers or by filling out our website online contact form or a live chat inquiry.

A member of our team will reach out to you within 24 hours for your consultation.

Disclaimer: Please note the advice contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and is only intended to act as a general overview divorce law matters. For custom legal advice as it pertains to your unique situation - please retain a divorce lawyer for your specific divorce law needs.

What is the Maintenance Enforcement Program in Alberta?

What is the Maintenance Enforcement Program in Alberta?

What is the Maintenance Enforcement Program in Alberta?

The Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) in Alberta allows individuals to collect court-ordered child support, spousal support and partner support and enforce these as required. Essentially if you are having challenges dealing with your former spouse – the MEP can be used to collect financial support from your spouse and be distributed to the intended recipients accordingly. Many of our clients have indicated how confusing the program can be due to the fact that limited information exists on the program making it rather challenging for individuals to process on their own.

At Verhaeghe Law Office – our Alberta divorce lawyers have assisted clients across Alberta with getting their Maintenance Enforcement Program registered and if this is something you need assistance with – we recommend you contact our law office today for a consultation with a member of our legal team to discuss how we can be of assistance in getting your Maintenance Enforcement Program order processed.

How do I qualify for a Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) in Alberta?

In order to register with the MEP there are three requirements that must be fulfilled as described below:

  1. You or the other party must reside in Alberta
  2. You must either be a payor or recipient of partner support, child support or spousal support
  3. A court order for support or Maintenance Order or Maintenance Agreement must be filed with the court

Contact our law office today to book a consultation with one of our family lawyers. We can provide legal assistance and help you get enrolled with this program if you qualify. Our divorce lawyers have handled this legal process for many of our existing and previous clients in a timely manner.

How does the Maintenance Enforcement Program work in Alberta?

The recipient of support from the Maintenance Enforcement Program is required to accomplish the following items (and we recommend you hire a lawyer for this):

  • Obtaining a court order
  • Provide information that can assist getting payments from the payor of support in a timely manner
  • Be timely with your response to any changes in the court order(s)
  • Inform of any changes to name, address, phone number, banking information that may affect the deposit of your financial support
  • Inform of any changes in child's status
  • Inform of any payments you receive from your former spouse

The payor of support (your former spouse or partner) is also required to:

  • Make all payments to MEP in a timely manner as prescribed by the court order(s)
  • Inform of any payment problems or late payments in advance of the payment due date
  • Inform of any changes to personal information such as address, phone number, employment or banking information
  • Inform of any changes in child's status

It is important to note that the Maintenance Enforcement Program does not provide legal representation or advice to clients. The Province of Alberta website recommends that to make any changes to a court order or to the amount payable, the client should contact a lawyer as one of their options for legal assistance.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office to book a consultation with our family lawyers for help with your Maintenance Enforcement Program

We recommend that if you have not yet filed a court order, that you contact an Alberta based family lawyer to assist with this process to ensure that your rights are protected and that it is done correctly. Our family lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office have many years of experience in processing Maintenance Enforcement Program requests on behalf of our clients.

Call 587-410-2500 today to book a consultation with our legal team. With offices in Edmonton, Whitecourt and Athabasca - our family lawyers can assist clients in Alberta with all their family law needs.

COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Employees in Alberta

COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Employees in Alberta

COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Employees in Alberta

The Province of Alberta has listed a series of resources for both employees and employers regarding COVID-19 support which can be found here. A series of prescribed measures have been outlined in an effort to protect both employers and employees from the economic disruption with an overarching aim of positioning Alberta for recovery once this situation is over (or at least contained).

Here is a list of some of the different support initiatives as outlined by both the provincial and federal governments. For a full list please visit the Province of Alberta’s website for more information. Please note this list may change as days go by given that a lot of these programs are temporary programs or one-time programs.

  1. Corporate Income Tax: Balances and installment payments that are due between March 18th to August 31, 2020 are now deferred until August 31, 2020 in an effort to increase access to cashflow temporarily for business owners so they can continue to operate their business. There have also been postponements with respect to due dates for corporate income tax returns. Click here for more information corporate income tax changes in Alberta.
  2. Education Property Tax Deferral: Education property tax rates will be frozen to 2019 rates and the collection of non-residential education property tax is postponed for an additional six months. The deferred amounts however will be expected to be paid back in future tax years. The Province has also asked commercial landlords to extend savings to their tenants by either delayed or reduced payments in an effort to help increase access to cash flow for employers to keep their business operations running. Where possible, businesses who can afford to pay their taxes in full are encouraged to do so as this will allow the provincial government to support Albertans during this unprecedented time.
  3. Utility Payment Deferrals: Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas payments for the next 90 days irrespective of the service provider. You will need to call your utility provider directly to make deferral payment arrangements. Learn more about the utility payment deferral program here.
  4. Job Protected Leave: Full and part-time employees may take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are required to self isolate or are caring for a child or dependent adult who is required to self-isolate. There are eligibility requirements that need to be made however.
  5. Other employment matters: Employers and employees may be eligible for different avenues for time off including vacation pay, leave or banked overtime. While these specific measures are not enforced or mandatory-the Province has outlined when and where these conditions may apply. The federal government has also outlined federal employment insurance benefits that employees may be eligible for. More information on the federal Employment Insurance benefits can be found here.

Contact an Employment Lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office for all your COVID-19 related employment law matters. For more information on how our Edmonton employment lawyers can help-please call 587-410-2500.

*Please note this blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute as legal advice for your specific situation. In order to get legal advice please consult with an employment lawyer in Alberta regarding all employment law matters.

The Province of Alberta on Paid Leave During COVID-19

The Province of Alberta on Paid Leave During COVID-19

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta: Emergency Orders during COVID-19 in Alberta

Life for many Albertans has been very different than what it was compared to a few weeks ago. As we adjust to a new normal – we have seen an increase in paid leave legal inquiries from both employers and employees in Alberta regarding COVID-19. While the Federal Government is making announcements almost weekly on individual welfare and government subsidy programs – we have also seen amendments to the Employment Law Standards Act in light of COVID-19.

It is important to note here that because announcements are made daily – the content prescribed in this article is subjected to change. For more up to date resources on COVID-19 in Alberta – please refer to the Province of Alberta’s resource website on COVID-19 support for employers and employees. Please also remember this blog post is only intended to act as a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. For more specific legal advice regarding your situation please contact one of our Edmonton employment lawyers today for a paid legal consultation.

Amendments to the Employment Standards Code on Paid Leave in Alberta

On March 13, 2020 – Premier Jason Kenney announced changes to the Employment Standards Code (ESC) where amendments were made to prevent employees from having to choose whether they should be working or doing what is necessary to protect the public health. The amendment provides a 14-day period that allows employees to protect their job if an employee is required to self-isolate or if an employee is sick or needs to provide care-giver services to a loved one who has tested positive for COVID-19. Employees will not be required to provide a doctor’s note in a situation like this. This leave allows the Province to mandate the 14-day self isolation period as prescribed by Alberta’s chief medical officer – especially for people who are returning to Canada after traveling abroad. It also prevents doctors’ offices and clinics from being overburdened for doctor’s note requests.

Who is responsible for Paid Leave in Alberta?

At this time, there is still uncertainty as to who will be financially responsible for the paid leave – specifically, whether the Federal Government, Provincial Government, Employment Insurance or individual employers and business owner. We suspect that as time goes on – further amendments may be made depending on the gravity of the COVID-19 situation and whether significant improvements have been made in flattening the curve. While there remain numerous discussions on how the amendments to the ESC does not offer protections for employers and business owners – the Province of Alberta has said they are working towards a solution to address these challenges for employers and business owners. If you are an employer or small business owner – contact our law office today to speak with an employment lawyer on COVID-19 workplace law matters. The same goes if you are an employee and would like more information about your rights as an employee during COVID-19.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office for a Consultation With An Edmonton Employment Lawyer

Verhaeghe Law Office has recently seen an increase in employment law inquiries. Our Edmonton employment lawyers are on stand-by to offer legal advice on all Alberta related COVID-19 employment law matters whether you are an employee or an employer. Contact us today by calling 587-410-2500 or live chat with us now to book an online consultation.

*Disclaimer: Please note this blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute as legal advice for your specific situation. Every legal situation is different, and we strongly recommend you consult with an employment lawyer in Alberta regarding all employment law matters. You may contact our law offices for legal advice and legal advice can be provided after a client-lawyer relationship has been established contractually.