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Employment Standards links:

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About the law






Jonathan Hanvelt, labor lawyer and employment law lawyer with Banister and Co. in downtown Vancouver, BC
J. Hanvelt, MA LLB

Rose Keith, over 20 years experience  in wrongful dismissal  employment law, working with employers as well as employees  on contract  reviews/development, offices in downtown Vancouver, BC
Rose Keith, JD

Human rights in workplaces

Sarah N. Goodwin, Bachelors of Business Admin. (Honors), JD , has a practice focus in the areas of Employment Law as well as Business Immigration Services

Wrongful Dismissal

Other areas

Reference links

About Employment Standards in B.C.

The main purpose of British Columbia's Employment Standards Act is to set the minimum standards for employment conditions and compensation in the province. The Act establishes a set of employee rights and employer obligations.

It also serves several other purposes:

  • promoting fair treatment of employees and employers
  • encouraging open communication
  • providing fair and efficient procedures for resolving disputes over applying and interpreting the Act
  • helping to develop a productive and efficient labour force
  • helping employees meet work and family responsibilities

These rules apply to all employees who work in B.C., with certain exceptions.  It doesn't cover, for example, federally regulated occupations such as air traffic controllers, military personnel, and fisheries officers.  Some sections of the Act also don't apply to unionized employees who are adequately protected by collective agreements.

The Employment Standards Branch of the Ministry of Labour administers the Act and its regulations.  This department regularly answers questions about the rules regarding

So what happens if your employer (or former employer) hasn't complied with the legislation?  You may file a complaint with the director of employment standards, who will then investigate. If you're unhappy with the director's decision, you may appeal to the Employment Standards Tribunal.

See our article on "Blowing the Whistle:  Complaints under the Employment Standards Act."

The above section is being updated in 2014.07 - by lawyers experienced in working with the Employment Standards Act, in the meantime you may wish to also consult with "A guide to the Employment Standards Act" by the B.C. Ministry of Jobs Tourism and Skills Training www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/esaguide/ "... The Employment Standards Act sets out the minimum standards that apply in most workplaces in British Columbia. The Employment Standards Branch of the Ministry of Labour administers the Act." (cited 2014.07.03)

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This page last updated: September 24, 1999
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