Why have a guide?
The Labour Relations Board has prepared this guide to the Labour Relations Code and the Public Service Employee Relations Act to help employees, employers, trade unions, students and the public understand the legislation and its administration by the Labour Relations Board.
The legislation is amended from time to time, and the policies of the Board in interpreting and administering it change and evolve. The staff of the Labour Relations Board and of Alberta Labour cannot provide legal advice, but they may be able to describe the policies and procedures of the Board and direct an individual to the appropriate section of the Code or Act.
Many employers, trade unions and workers see the Labour Relations Board as a kind of court, ruling on the application of Alberta's labour laws. While it is true that the Board is empowered to hear evidence and make binding decisions, the Board's role in helping parties avoid expensive hearings is even more important.
Board labour relations officers are often able to help parties find the elusive common ground that will resolve their differences, and members of the Board may also become involved in informal dispute resolution initiatives.
The Board also helps prevent conflict by providing easy access to useful information. Parties who are well informed about their legal rights and obligations will usually act responsibly. The Board is committed to clarity and readability in all its work, from correspondence and information bulletins to Board decisions. Decisions are made widely available through libraries, publishing services and the Board's own Web site on the Internet.
This guide is an important part of the Board's education strategy. It contains valuable basic information about Alberta's labour relations laws and is written to be as useful to experienced practitioners as it is to first-time clients of the Board.