Published On: Friday, 17 May 2019

CFIB Highlights BC Employment Standards Act Changes

BC - On April 29, 2019, the provincial government announced a series of changes to the BC Employment Standards Act that will impact some businesses and the management of their employees. After consulting our members, CFIB advocated on behalf of small business and was successful in defending your rights in some crucial areas. This first round of changes includes:

  • Minimum working age will increase to 16 years (14 to 16-year old’s will need permission from the government)
  • Employees experiencing domestic violence now have a protected leave of absence of up to 15 weeks of unpaid leave
  • Unpaid leave of absence for employees who need to care for critically ill family members
  • Tip pooling will be permitted, but will not allow the employer to share in the tip pool except when the employer performs the same work as workers who share in the pool
  • Extension of the recovery period for which workers can recover owed wages from their employer to 12 months — with the possibility of extending the period to 24 months under some circumstances, such as in cases involving willful or severe contraventions of the act
  • Elimination of the requirement for employees to use the “Self-help Kit” before filing a complaint with the Employment Standards Branch
  • Adding an employment standard audit arm, auditors will proactively go into businesses to ensure compliance with the act

If you have any questions about how these changes may relate to your business, currently or in the future, please contact Business Resources – 1.888.234.2232 or