In spring 2019, the Ministry of Labour introduced changes to the Employment Standards Act to ensure that the work children and young people do is age-appropriate and safe for their health and development. These changes will bring B.C. in line with international child employment standards and align B.C. with regulations in almost all other Canadian jurisdictions that protect children from dangerous work.

Government knows there are economic benefits and valuable life skills and experiences that work provides and at the same time government’s role is to ensure that these work experiences are safe. Before moving forward with specific rules around child employment, we asked parents, guardians, employers, businesses, organizations and youth for their perspectives on:

    • what types of work are appropriate for children and youth,
    • what special rules (if any) should there be for children and youth engaged in this work, and
    • should there be exemptions and what might those be?

Some jobs are already exempt from the general working age requirement, including: babysitters, performers in recorded and live entertainment, newspaper carriers, and students in work-study programs. These jobs will not be impacted by the new age requirements or rules around light work.

We received over 1,700 online questionnaires, including 64 from youth. This feedback was used to develop regulations on appropriate work for young people aged 14-16, which were announced on July 21, 2021. Click here to view the news release and details of the amendments. The new regulations come into effect on October 15, 2021.

Your feedback will continue to inform further policy and regulatory development on this topic. Thank you.