Employment Standards Act BC


The BC Employment Standards Act (ESA) lays down the minimum standards for conditions of employment in the province. These include minimum wages, leaves of absence, vacation time and pay, hours of work, rest periods, and termination notice and pay. 

Provincially regulated workplaces are covered by the BC Employment Standards Act and must comply with the minimum standards set down in the ESA. Employers are free to offer higher wages and more benefits to employees than those outlined in the ESA, but they cannot offer less.  

Employers must also provide their employees with information about their rights under the ESA. Please note that employers can't intimidate, punish, or terminate an employee for asking questions about the ESA or the occupational health and safety legislation, or exercising their rights under the ESA or the OHS legislation, such as taking a leave of absence or refusing unsafe work. 


Who does the BC Employment Standards Act apply to? 

The BC Employment Standards Act covers all employees within provincial jurisdiction, including casual, probationary, temporary, or full-time or part-time staff. But the individual person should meet the definition of employee as laid down in the ESA. 

Who is not covered by the BC Employment Standards Act ? 

Federally regulated employees are outside the jurisdiction of the BC Employment Standards Act. Independent contractors and professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, and architects, regulated by other provincial regulations are also excluded from the ESA. 

Students, sitters, some newspaper carriers, and persons in government-sponsored work programs, may also be excluded from the ESA under some conditions. 

Please note that some portions of the BC Employment Standards Act don’t apply to certain occupations, such as oil and gas workers, truck drivers, taxi drivers, and farm workers, among others. These industries are covered by regulations specific to such occupations. 

Do you need help staying compliant with the BC Employment Standards Act? 

Non-compliance with the BC Employment Standards Act can expose you to litigation, fines, compliance orders and prosecution. It is important that you understand and comply with ESA provisions to keep your employees and business safe. 

Our experts are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about the BC Employment Standards Act. Call us today at 1-888-219-8767