Employment Standards Act Reform Project

Project Status: Work in Progress
Project Contact: Greg Blue, Q.C.
Telephone Number: 604-827-5337
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The British Columbia Law Institute is conducting a project to review and make recommendations for reform of British Columbia’s Employment Standards Act. No comprehensive review of the Act has been carried out in over 20 years.

Since then, patterns of work and employment in British Columbia have evolved considerably. The Act, however, is still closely tied to a model of the workplace as it existed before the revolution in digital and communications technology, characterized by an 8-hour day and 40-hour week with fixed hours of work performed in a fixed locality. Today’s workplace, by contrast, may be much more flexible – with irregular hours, variable localities, and virtual workplaces in which employees may not be working in the presence of one another. Employment of youth, and the growth of temporary and non-standard employment, present further regulatory challenges.

BCLI was encouraged to undertake a project on the Employment Standards Act because the Act does not adequately address the contemporary needs and circumstances of British Columbia’s workplaces. The Act is overdue for a review.

The goal of this project is to carry out a thorough analysis of the Employment Standards Act and arrive at tentative recommendations for its improvement that will be published in a consultation paper to collect input from the public. This input will then be used to formulate recommendations for reform of the Act, which will be contained in the project’s final report. BCLI is carrying out the project with the assistance of an all-volunteer committee made up of experts in the field of employment law.

The commencement of this project was made possible through a generous grant from the Law Foundation of British Columbia.  Other bodies that have generously contributed to the funding of this project are the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, the Coalition of BC Businesses, the British Columbia Government Employees Union, the Hospital Employees Union, and the Vancouver and District Labour Council.

The Law Foundation of BC

Keywords: Employment standards act, employee, employer, unjust dismissal, wages, vacations, leaves, holidays, hiring, termination, notice

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Introduction to the Employment Standards Act Reform Project

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