Employment Standards Act

What is the Employment Standards Act?

The Employment Standards Act provides the minimum standards for most employees working in British Columbia (BC) which includes the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. An employee cannot give up their rights under the Act, even with the agreement of the employer.

The Act outlines the rights and responsibilities of both employees and employers in the workplace. It covers a wide range of topics such as minimum wage, working hours, vacation entitlement, and general holidays. The Employment Standards Act applies to most business owners.

The Ministry of Labour is responsible for enforcing the standards in workplaces across BC.

Understanding the Employment Standards Act

Our HR specialists provide guidance to help you understand your legal obligations as an employer across the following areas:

  • Hiring Employees
  • Wages
  • Hours of Work
  • Overtime hours and pay
  • Statutory Holidays
  • Job-protected leaves (e.g. pregnancy, parental, family responsibility, bereavement, jury duty)
  • Annual Vacation time and pay
  • Termination of Employment
  • Complaints, Investigations and Determinations
  • Enforcements
  • Employment Standards Tribunals
  • Appeals

As an employer you must understand the basic requirement under the employment standards to fulfill your duties as an employer and to provide your employees with their entitlements.

Bill 8, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2019

On May 30, 2019, Bill 8, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2019 introduced significant changes to the Employment Standards Act. Changes were made to the statutory leaves, tips and gratuities, record keeping and other requirements. It is essential that employers understand their responsibilities to their employees in line with the amendments to the employment standards.  

To meet the new minimum standards of the ESA, employers must review and revise their existing workplace policies and procedures to ensure their business is compliant. 

Support for Your Business 

We provide expert advice to small business owners through our HR helpline. Peace of mind is just a quick call away: 1 (833) 247-3652.

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