Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #36
Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

I'm truck driver ad I'm curious how my overtime should be calculated.


Dear Working Wise:

I work as many as 10.5 hours a day as a delivery driver/shop helper.  I make deliveries and work in the shop when there are no deliveries to be made. According to the Alberta Employment Standards web site, a truck driver does not incur overtime until they exceed 10 hours of work, but my understanding is that the 10-hour-rule only applies to out-of-town deliveries. I am curious how my overtime should be calculated. For example, if I make deliveries for three hours and then work 7.5 hours in the shop, am I entitled to overtime? Signed, Wondering Worker


Dear Wondering:


Overtime rules vary by industry and situation, but for most employees, overtime is all hours worked in excess of eight hours a day or 44 hours a week. Overtime is calculated both on a daily and weekly basis. The higher of the two numbers is overtime hours worked in the week.

Overtime must be paid at the rate of at least 1.5 times the employee's regular wage rate. The sole exception applies where the overtime is accumulated under an overtime agreement.

Some employers and employees agree to replace overtime pay wholly or partly with time off with pay. This is done through the use of an overtime agreement. An overtime agreement allows overtime hours to be banked and later taken off with pay, hour for hour, during regular work hours.

However, if banked time is not taken off within three months then it must be paid out at time and one half. Employers can not create a “use it or loose it” type rule for banked overtime. Overtime can not be lost or taken away even if your overtime agreement says that it can. The employer must keep track of the banked overtime and how long it has been in the bank. However, the employer can tell the employee when to take their banked time off.


Some types of employees are exempt from the hours of work and overtime standards. Farm workers, domestic employees, salespeople, professionals, police, and managers are just a few of the classes that are exempt.


As you have alluded to, other industries, such as the trucking industry, have different overtime rules. For a complete list of exempt occupations and industries with differing overtime rules, click on Alberta’s Standards at:


Your situation includes a lot of variables. Whether you drive long distances (across provincial boundaries), the type of company you work for, how much of your time you spend driving and the type of truck you drive all have an impact on whether you are covered by Federal laws or Provincial laws and whether you are considered to be working in the "trucking" industry, which has different overtime rules than most.


I encourage you to call the Alberta Employment Standards contact centre toll-free at: 1-877-427-3731. The advisers will be able to dig down into the details of your situation and let you know if you are considered to be working in the trucking industry or not.


This article is for general information only. For information on your specific situation, contact Alberta Employment Standards at1-877-427-3731.


Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.
















I am about to graduate with a business administration diploma. Do you have any tips to help me land my first job?



Dear Working Wise:

I am about to graduate with a diploma in business administration. I’m really excited to get out there and start working, but I’m a little worried about the competitive job market. Do you have any tips to help me land my first job? Signed, Eager Graduate


Dear Eager:


Alberta’s job market has improved over the past two years—our unemployment rate has dropped below six per cent, but it is still a competitive job market, especially for new graduates. Here are some ideas and tips to help you break into the job market.


Use your school

Ask your instructors or the chair of your program for advice and suggestions about where to look for jobs. Put your school’s career services office to work for you. These offices usually provide help with resumés and job searches. Employers interested in hiring new graduates also often post jobs with schools.


Polish your resume

Is your resume representing you as well as it should? Recruiters spend as little as 30 seconds glancing at your resume—does your resumé scream “I’m perfect for this job”?


Target your resume and cover letter to each specific job by listing your most relevant skills, qualifications, training, accomplishments and experience right at the top. Fill your resume with key words from the job posting.


Eliminate errors and ensure your resume looks as professional as you are. Always include a cover letter with your resume and use it to explain why you are the perfect candidate for the job.


Want an expert opinion on your resumé? Use the free e-Resume review service at


Attend job fairs

Did you know that there are job fairs happening all year long around the province? Find out about upcoming job fairs near you at


Put the Job Bank to work for you

Most job seekers know about the Canada-Alberta Job Bank, but did you know about its Resumé Builder, Job Match and Job Alert features? Job Match allows you to advertise your job profile to employers and receive a list of matching jobs. Job Alert emails you job openings that match your search criteria.



Let your network of friends, family and teachers along with your former employers know that you are looking for a new job. Some people estimate that fewer than half of all jobs are actually advertised. Networking is a great way to tap into that hidden job market.


Send everyone you know an email letting them know what kind of job you are looking for along with a quick summary of your skills, training and experience. Attach your resumé if you feel comfortable and don’t forget to update, clean up, and use your social networking sites, like Facebook and Linked-In.


Expand your job search

Some grads make the mistake of limiting their job search to a specific occupation, industry, or organization type. Take inventory of your transferable skills—like organizational, computer, and time-management skills—and consider opportunities in related occupations and industries. Don’t forget to check out small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.


Register with recruitment agencies

Some employers rely on word-of-mouth and recruitment agencies to fill their positions. Registering with recruitment agencies is free, takes very little time, and is another great way to tap into the hidden job market. You can start by checking out


Good luck!


Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.


How soon is too soon for my kids to get their first jobs?


Dear Working Wise

How soon is too soon for my kids to get their first jobs? My kids are 13 and 15 and both say they want to work this summer. I want them to learn the value of work, but they’re so young and I’m concerned about their safety. Signed, Anxious Parent.


Dear Anxious:


A part-time job is a great way for students to earn some extra pocket money, save for post-secondary and find out that money really doesn’t grow on trees.


Summer jobs and part-time jobs also teach skills they will be able to use for the rest of their lives, including teamwork, time-management, and interpersonal skills.


Working does carry risks, no matter how careful kids and employers are. You know your kids best and know how much responsibility they can handle—use your best judgment when deciding when your kids start working and where they work.


One thing that might help ease your mind a bit is that Alberta Employment Standards legislation includes provisions to ensure that young workers are only allowed to work in jobs that have a low-risk of harm.


For Adolescents, aged 12 to 14 years old, parents or guardians must give the employer written consent to allow their kids to work. The job must also carry no risk of injury to their life, health, education or welfare.


Adolescents are limited working as a:

- clerk or messenger in an office;

- clerk in a retail store (e.g., video store, grocery store, department store, convenience store, etc.).

- delivery person of small items for a retail store;

- delivery person (e.g., newspapers, flyers, handbills); or

- certain food-service occupations (host/hostess duties, cashier duties, dish washing, bussing tables, providing customer service, assembling food orders, waiting on tables or cleaning, are approved occupations).


For other occupations, a permit is required. Before granting a permit, the employer must complete a written application with a Safety Checklist for Underage Employees.


Employment Standards will not issue a permit for a worker 14 or under to work in any occupations in the construction industry or occupations requiring work around or with heavy or potentially hazardous equipment, such as drills, conveyors, grinders, welding equipment, hammers and nails, blowtorches, forklifts, fryers, hot grills, slicers, etc.


For workers aged 15 to 17, Employment Standards does not impose restrictions on the type of employment, but, there arerestrictions the hours of work and the level of supervision required.If a young person is employed at a retail store or motel/hotel and works after 9 p.m., there must be at least one adult present at all times. Youth working between midnight and 6 a.m. need to work with at least one adult and employers need written consent of their parent and guardian.


Employers are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe for all workers, including providing safety training. Workers are responsible for working safely.


For more information on how to work safely, encourage your kids to visit the website.


It might also ease your mind a bit to know that Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is running a focused inspection this month of employers who hire younger workers to ensure these workplaces are safe and healthy.


For more information on the focused inspection and protectionsfor young Alberta workers, visit and click on Safe and Fair Workplaces.


Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.





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